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How To Recreate Yourself

Recreating Yourself"Re-create yourself by forging a new identity, one that commands attention and never bores the audience." -Law 46 of Robert Green's 48 Laws of Power

May definitely has its share of monthly celebrations and observances, most notably Mother’s Day and Memorial.  Although not widely observed, May is also celebrated by some as “Creative Beginnings” Month, an observance that encourages each of us to get our creative juices flowing.  And, what better creation to work on than yourself? 

Just as the recession of the last few years and the current budget crisis has dictated that our government and private businesses must seek to re-define their processes in order to survive economically, we too should be seeking to re-create and re-define ourselves.  In fact, forging a new workplace image might be exactly what's needed to move you to the top of the list when that next opportunity presents itself.  Of course, how to do that becomes the question especially since we've all heard the saying "you never get a second chance, to make a first impression."  But, let's not short change the impact that second, third, and even fourth impressions can have, especially with focused attention.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Request additional responsibilities before seeking your next promotion. Doing so will show that you are a team player and will prepare you for the next level at the same time.  Even if you don’t get that in-house promotion, you have more padding for your resume when looking for an external position.
  2. Always demonstrate your reliability and dependability.  Doing so will more quickly open up new doors of opportunity for you and will help you build rapport and mutual support with your colleagues and managers.
  3. Avoid negative communications and negative associations.  Experience shows that employees who take the higher road and become problem solvers instead of part of the problem will be the ones to come out ahead.
  4. Consider whether you're still giving your all to your job just as you did when you first got hired.  We all have days when we slack off but that shouldn't be the norm.  Besides, being busy makes the day go faster and the work more interesting.
  5. If you don't like your job, stop talking about it and do something about it.  Make a list of concrete actions you can take to address your specific situation that might make your job more enjoyable or make you more focused in your search for a new position with a better fit.  If you don’t currently have a job, in addition to reconsidering whether you are looking for a job that realistically fits your resume skill set, you should be making a list of concrete actions you can take to make yourself more marketable, including taking refresher training courses and distributing a better packaged, more focused resume.

Shirley A. Jones, Esq. is President of the Region XI Council of Blacks In Government (BIG) and can be reached using the “Ask the President” link at

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