Retooling

  Retooling yourself and old ideas isn’t a new concept, Walt Disney was brilliant at it. You’re familiar with familiar fairy tales in his movies, but do you remember the Mickey Mouse Club? If so, what version? There have been five of them.  

The first was a theater based club from 1930-1935, it had over one million members. The second came about to raise money to help build Disneyland in 1955. The third and fourth incarnations were in the seventies and the nineties. 

The 1989-1995 edition had future Hollywood personalities that are household names today. They included Justin Timberlake, Brittany Spears, Christina Aguilera, Ryan Gosling, and Keri Russell. The latest was a 2015 South Korean television show. 

The point is, at different intervals, Disney took an idea and reused it. Trends and children changed, old things that once worked grew out of date. Rather than holding onto the past, they evaluated and updated what would work. Disney discarded what was no longer applicable, and used what still was.

I’m currently in such a state myself, just recently going through a career transition. While I can’t control every facet of this experience, there are a few things I can do. I would like to share them with you, in hopes of helping you through a similar transition. 

First, and foremost, I seek counsel. As a Christian, I believe in prayer, I ask for God’s help as I walk this road. Also, I talk to my Pastor. His perspective not only gives me direction, but inspiration. In addition, I’ve spoken to experts in my industry, and others who’ve faced this same thing.

Second, I do not allow my emotions to be my engine. Some days you will feel emotionally on fire, other days you’ll feel as if all your energy was drained out. We should not deny our emotions, but we can’t allow them to be our director either.  

Talk to someone you can trust about what you’re feeling. Address your fears, concerns, and questions. We are human, and these things are natural. At the same time, they shouldn’t control our decisions, we should.

Thirdly, I’m reinventing myself, in a career sense. I’m exploring my options, discarding what doesn’t work, and attempting to implement what will. In my career I’ve went from IT work, to customer service and human resources. In addition to that, I’m a writer and artist.

I don’t know what the next phase of my work path looks like yet, but I know this. My best job is still ahead of me, and I’m pursuing it. Along the way, I’m brushing off old ideas that still have some life in them, and introducing myself to new audiences.   

You can too, if you’re willing to do something. It takes a willingness to try something new. Being brave enough to streamline what still works, while eliminating what no longer does. Knowing that your ideas are tools that are meant to work for you, but do not define you.

If a tool is damaged, a craftsman repairs what he can, and replaces what is no longer viable. That does not mean that you are no longer valuable, only that you are facing a new challenge. Where you are in life is not your destination, it’s only your current location.

Much like the Mickey Mouse Club, our lives can touch generations, span countries, and have many formats. If, like me, your in transition, then you’re on a grand adventure. They can be challenging, even scary at times, but also incredibly exciting.

We need some new things in our lives to make them interesting. Plus, like treasures in jewelry box, we can accent the new, with classic pieces that retain their value. Our circumstances effect us, but they don’t determine our relevance.  

No matter where you are, or how old you are, you have something to offer. It may mean learning a new skill, or reconfiguring an old one. M I C Key Mouse gave way to malls and music videos, but more than one generation loved it. You may trade an old mouse eared hat for a shiny new look, and that’s okay. Start preparing today, to introduce yourself to the next phase of your journey.

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