Living The Dream

How to Reinvent Yourself…Part 1

Jersey Mike'sSometimes in life you wish you could take a mulligan or have a do-over. Unfortunately we do not get the option to take a mulligan in life or right all our wrongs, but I think you can reinvent yourself.  

I once worked at Jersey Mike’s sandwich shop. It was my first job at the green age of 15 that my mother got me. I will never forget the day she called me while I was at home being lazy and told me she had gotten me a job. Let it be known that I did not want a job, and was not looking for a job. What made it worse was that it was two stores down from where my mother worked! Not only did I have to go to work, but I had to do it under the watchful eye of my mother. She obviously thought this was great fun, and I did not.

I worked for Jersey Mike’s for about two years, and I hated it. Every time someone would open the door a bell would go off and I would almost lose it. I remember one time a kid came in who was probably 8 years old and he was trying to put in his order and I made fun of him…in front of his mother, and I think the boy cried. I’m certain they probably never came back. I was not a nice person, and the job morphed me into someone that wasn’t’ a good representation of who I really was. You can ask my parents and they can verify that the story is true.

A few months ago I found myself back in North Carolina for my grandmother’s funeral, and as my dad and I went riding around I saw the Jersey Mike’s I used to work at. Unfortunately, it is no longer in business (but fortunately for that little boy). As I sat there and looked at the building, I reminisced on how far I had come in almost 15 years. I realized that 15 years ago I couldn’t see 15 years in front of me, I could barely visualize the next day. As I thought about how much I hated that job and where I am at now, I realized that my identity as a person was never rapped up in that job. Even when I worked there my identity was not in that job.

The revelation I had was if I was able to reinvent myself as my life has evolved over the last 15 years, then whats to say it can’t happen in the next few years. We get in jobs and careers that we don’t see a way out of, and we give up on our dreams because we can’t see that we can reinvent who we are. We have to remember that we are not our careers, our careers are merely the surface level of who we are. There is something deeper about you and that others may not see. I believe there is potential in you that has yet to be realized [tweet this]. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

More to come on Friday on How to Reinvent Yourself!

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  • http://workingself.com/ Rebecca Fraser-Thill

    What a flashback to see Jersey Mike’s! From my home state. I miss their subs up here in Maine.

    That said, sorry to hear it was a horrible working experience. All too often I hear people say, “whatever – work is just about money. I don’t need it to matter to me personally.” And I just think, “good luck with that attitude. See how long it holds up.” Identity needs to be matched with work; we spend too much time in it for there to be any other answer. As you said, career is not who we are, but career should MATCH who we are. That’s up to us to make that happen.

    • http://lukeroland.com/ Luke Roland

      The food was great! The horrible experience was definitely my fault. If I would have had a better attitude and valued the job then it may have meant more to me. In the end it was not the right fit for me because the job didn’t match who I was!

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