Back to Listing

How Do You Reinvent Your Career?

09 May 2011

A while ago I went with a group of friends to see Gary Puckett and The Union Gap at a club in Cammeray.  Now that was a blast from the past!  Who remembers Gary Puckett and his hit song, “Young Girl?”  To jog your memory, here’s a link to his 1968 performance  which made it to No. 1 in the UK singles chart and No. 2 in the US Billboard Hot 100. 

What has this got to do with Reinventing Your Career?  Well, I was so impressed with 68-year-old Gary Puckett’s energy, enthusiasm, vocal ability and fitness on stage as well as his obvious enjoyment of performing that I started to think about what we could do with our careers moving forward. 

Some of my career transition clients who were affected by the Global Financial Crisis and experienced redundancies in 2008 and 2009 decided to conduct a complete overhaul of their careers and, after careful analysis and planning, moved into new and exciting career directions and haven’t looked back. 

Watching Gary Puckett in action, he demonstrated that we don’t have to make a huge change in direction to be fulfilled in our careers.  A slight realignment in the way we approach our work could give us a great deal of satisfaction.  If we are good at what we do, do we have to make a massive change in order to find fulfillment moving forward?  It’s a matter of loving what we do, continuing to feel the passion and ensuring that we stay up to date with the current ways of approaching our profession.   The staging and lighting of Gary’s show was spot on, the technology worked perfectly, his easy banter and up to date comments when delivering his jokes made him totally relevant in this decade despite having been a popular musician way back in the 1960’s.  I had fun  -  he had fun  - the audience (and there were a mixture of generations) had fun.  That’s what it’s all about.

There was a gentleman who joined our table that night whom I had not met before, was not so open to new directions and ways of doing things.  We chatted and I asked him what was his profession.  He said he was an immigration lawyer who had enjoyed a very successful career in the 1980’s and 1990’s in Australia.  However, after 9/11 and the changes in immigration requirements his business took a downturn.  He said he hung on for as long as he could but he no longer has a viable business.  He said he was too old to make a change now.  I asked him how old he was and he said he was 50.  That’s not too old I told him (I was loathe to tell him I was older than he!)  I said that he still has a good 30 years of life ahead to adapt to new circumstances.  He said it was too hard for him as he is against new technology and the new ways of doing things.  He has refused to learn how to use the Internet and relies on his children regarding technology.  He remains a firm believer in reading books and print newspapers and likes things they way they were.  He did not want to change or adapt.   He did not see how he could be successful in his career moving forward.  There was much negativity.  Needless to say this was not a light and pleasant conversation just prior to Gary Puckett’s show kicking off but it did highlight to me how attitude guides the potential for success.

Did any of you watch “Social Network” (the story of Facebook)?  What an inspiring film.  Within 6 years, this concept, this spark of inspiration from Mark Zuckerberg has grown into a phenomenon, a regular part of life for over 500 million users worldwide personally and professionally.  I admire and am inspired by those who look for a different, a unique way of doing things.    We must stay open to change, embrace it and understand it for success.  Or we get left behind.

What is your attitude towards change, new technologies and new trends?   How are you keeping ahead of the curve?  If your attitude has contributed to your success or has held you back in any way, I’d love to hear about it. 

Jane Jackson Director of Style Success, coaching for success. 

For more information visit or contact



  • Beate Duesterwald

    Beate Duesterwald 9 years ago

    This is such a relevant article for many of us, especially women who migrated to Australia from another country where they had a successful career. Thanks for sharing your experience Carole! This sounds very familiar to me; I have also migrated to Australia and had to rethink my career. I'm grateful for that experience because I have learned a lot through it and by taking up suitable opportunities when they appeared. Anyone else in our community who has made a major career decision?

  • Carole Van Wyk

    Carole Van Wyk 9 years ago

    Thanks Jane for the interesting articles.Having recently migrated to Perth, I am (as expected) having to address change in a big way. In my home country I enjoyed 20 years experience in the financial services industry and as a result held senior positions, had a proven track record and an established network.In Perth I am faced with the option of either taking a few steps backwards (accepting a lower level position) to 'get my foot in the door', or to reinvent my career. I've opted for the latter, choosing to focus on training, one of the aspects of my previous working life that I truly enjoyed.Some may view my resistance to the idea of taking a lower level position as having the wrong attitude towards change (admittedly my ego may have influenced my decision to a certain extent). Overall though, it forced me to seriously consider what is important to me at this stage in my life - money, title or job satisfaction? (something that I otherwise may not have done). Here's to a new and exciting career direction for me and hopefully (like your clients) no looking back.