Do you remember do-overs? Those second chances we used to get as kids? Wouldn’t it be nice to use that magic in your life and give yourself a fresh start? Well, we have some good news for you — you can!
There are lots of reasons to consider reinventing yourself. You might have discovered new passions at work. Or maybe you’re feeling a pull to make a personal change. For many, 2020 granted some time and space to reflect on where they are and where they want to be.
You have many paths you can choose to follow. Need some ideas? Here are a few ways you can take steps to reimagine your life in the new year.
Sign Up for an Online Program
If you want to try something new but don’t think you have the skills you need, try an online course. Especially now, there are tons of online workshops, courses and certificate programs available. You can gain hands-on tech experience to help you in your career. Or you can explore something brand-new — learn how to paint or start a blog or develop your time management or communications skills. With more education, your skills (and your confidence) grow. Start by taking a look at Girls in Tech’s range of programs for professionals of all levels who want to build or strengthen their tech skills.
Learn and Grow at Work
You don’t have to leave your job to explore something new. Talk to your manager or mentor about your goals. Where in the company could you move to explore new skills? What would it take to get there? A lot of companies set aside money for professional development, and your organization might cover the costs of a class you want to take, for example.
Make a Big Move
A new opportunity — to grow professionally and personally — could be across the country or around the world. Thriving tech hubs exist beyond Silicon Valley. Cities such as St. Louis, Atlanta, Singapore, Berlin and Toronto are budding tech centers on the rise. Do a bit of research on the places that sound exciting and ask yourself a few basic questions. What companies are headquartered there? What communities exist there? Do I have a personal connection? What’s the cost of living? Then, begin to map your journey.
Find a Way to Give Back
Fulfillment comes from a lot of places — career, hobbies, personal growth. Another is giving back. You can use your professional skills to help a nonprofit, or donate your time in other ways. Whether you’re filling and distributing food boxes, building a website or knitting blankets for the homeless, supporting a cause you care about can be just the change you need. Plus, volunteering is a great way to meet new people and learn new skills and may even help you be healthier.
Pursue an Advanced Degree
Reinventing yourself may take some heavy lifting — and that’s perfectly fine. Sometimes, rolling up our sleeves and going back to school to get another degree is the right next step. This is a big investment, but it can come with a huge payoff. We’re not just talking about money either — it could also mean being happier at work. Check out local colleges and universities as well as online schools to learn about their offerings. Before committing, learn as much as you can about the career opportunities each degree could lead to. Talk to recruiters and find out what the success rate is for job placement within each department. This is not only a financial investment but also a considerable commitment of your time, so be sure to fully vet the programs you’re considering.
Whether you’re looking to make a couple of small tweaks or begin a whole new chapter, change can be exciting. Take some time to think about where (and who) you want to be in 2021 and beyond. Then, build a plan that works for you. This is your year to shine!