We all know how quickly the business environment is changing. Sometimes it feels so overwhelming and guess what? It is. The challenge of trying to keep up with change is daunting. However, committing to adapting and focusing on what is really important to you and your client-base offers the best answer to making change work for you. You will quickly find that the longer you wait to make changes, the “behinder” you get.

A recent Harvard Business Review research project found that “Making a commitment to reinvention before the need is glaringly obvious doesn’t come naturally. Things often look rosiest just before a company heads into decline: Revenues from the current business model are surging, profits are robust, and the company stock commands a hefty premium. But that’s exactly when managers need to take action.”

When you begin to understand that your customers are already ahead of you, particularly in the realm of social media, you are already reinventing. Take a sampling of your customers and talk to them. Ask them directly how you can partner with them to meet their challenges.

This may not be part of your current marketing plan… But, it should be. Continuing to fall back on “we’ve always done it this way” is costing you added revenue. Your competitors are using disruptive methods to shake up their organizations and so should you.

To get started, I’ve put together a few steps to kickstart your reinvention!

1. Take a deep breath and collect your thoughts. Every successful reinvention starts with a deep breath – it helps you to think clearly. Once the shock of the realization has hit you, clear thinking is essential. Breathing helps you calm down and begin to formulate a high level plan.

2. Develop a simple plan for getting started and set deadlines. The simple act of beginning to develop a basic plan is the most important decision you’ll make. Simply make a list of action items. Start with very basic things like “resume update”, “build a networking list”, “schedule a head shot”… try to complete one action item a week or more if you can.

3. Make a list of your career options. Reflect on your options. Take a day or two and research your possibilities. Please don’t let your last job description “box in” your thinking.

4. Talk to people you respect and get their input. Ask them for suggestions on how you can better broaden your job search… you’re not asking them for a job… you’re asking for their help and perspective. People want to help, but usually don’t know how they can – so you’ll want to be specific.

5. Take action…get started! It would be great if we could just take a magic pill and our career reinvention was over and successful. I’m working on that pill now, but in the meantime, we continue doing the best we can. We put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward. We continue to think creatively and work continuously to make things happen. You can do it!