Odds are you know at least one person who has lost a job because of our current economic hard times – in fact I would venture to say it’s more likely that you know multiple people who have suddenly found themselves abandoned alongside the career roadside—perhaps you’re one of them. I certainly found myself in that category.

I decided to look at the problem as an opportunity. I mean, after all, I wasn’t exactly thrilled with the career I had landed in. And the thought of going out there and beating the pavement in search for another corporate job didn’t set my heart a-flutter. So this was my chance to break free and do something I would enjoy—something meaningful.

Sound familiar? Thousands of people, just like you and me, have decided to re-invent themselves, and change what they do for a living. Some have pursued life-long dreams, while others have found careers via the Internet, which didn’t even exist a few years ago. So how do you go about re-inventing yourself?

The number one key to remember is that you are not alone. There are resources out there—tons of them—so do some research. The challenge of an ever-shrinking job market has forced many to find ingenious ways to locate, and in many cases, invent new jobs and careers. And at no other time in history have there been so many opportunities available to you via the online world. And I’m not just talking about jobs that involve the Internet directly, such as website building or writing content, although that may appeal to you. I’m also talking about using the Internet and Social Media as a resource tool. Find and reach out to other like-minded people and brainstorm with them. Read about and follow others who have already gone through this and have accomplished their goals. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Study how they achieved success.

But most important of all, do the self-examination. This is key. Take the time to honestly evaluate your talents, knowledge and experience. After you list your work experience, go on to list your hobbies, or events you’ve enjoyed. Think back to your childhood days and remember what inspired you. Don’t discount anything, even if it seems mundane or unimportant. Maybe you had a blast coordinating a party recently…maybe you love to do woodworking…or everyone raves about your cooking. Write them all down. When you look at the list as a whole, you may be surprised what stares you in the face!

Now dream a little—or dream big! Let your imagination flow. Think about what type of career would excite you, inspire you, or just plain fulfill your needs. And don’t automatically discount a dream as impossible. Who knows, maybe you can find a niche in a market, which allows you to participate within the bigger scene.

Don’t give up if the first thing you try doesn’t work. Sometimes it takes some experimenting to find the right combination. Every famous inventor would tell you they experienced more failures than winners, until they found that perfect solution. Just make sure you learn from each failed attempt—then it’s no longer a failure, it’s a valuable learning experience.

Re-inventing yourself gives you the opportunity to take what you already know, figure out what else you need to know, learn it, and apply it to your life so that you can become the person you aspire to be. It can be a rewarding, refreshing and inspiring evolution for you. I hope you will join me here again in the near future for some more detailed looks at ways to use the Social Media avenue to re-invent yourself and find success in your life. Let’s inspire each other ~