Every so often there is an opportunity for reinvention of yourself, and this down economy is certainly one. We all get very attached to what we do as the definition of who we are. When we no longer do a particular job because of a downsizing, layoff, retirement, selling a business, health concerns or a myriad of other reasons, suddenly the identity that went with it is gone too. When we no longer have that identity we can start to wonder who we really are.

A great quote I read recently said “Many (people) will be given the opportunity to reinvent themselves this year.” That’s right, given the opportunity. Because once that job and identity are gone, whether we wanted it to be gone or not, the boundaries that went with it are gone as well. We are no longer what we were, which means we can now be something else. The change may be subtle or dramatic–I was a corporate art director and now I’ll become an art director in a different industry. Or move to the agency side. Or build up my interactive design skills. Or start my own design firm. Or open my own retail store. Or get the education necessary to be an art teacher. Or take the time to watch my children grown up for a few years. Or go back to school for nursing.The possibilities are limited only by your interests, ideas and how hard you want to work to make them come to life–certainly some reinventions will take considerably more work than others.

Once you let go of what you were, you can become what you want to be. Or at least what you want to be for now, until your next reinvention. Because most people go through this process at least 2-3 times during their work life.