I Once Was Random, Then I Reinvented Myself

Written by RefWriter Published in

Thought Leader Blog

In college one of my suite mates, Robin, used to call me random.  She would say I had the most random interests, jobs, and friends.  Just last week I met John, and he told me I was the most random person he had ever met.  I don’t believe I am random by definition, lacking a definite plan, purpose or pattern, but I believe I am passionate about a lot of things and I do not fear change or the unknown.

The reality is, that if John’s perception of me is that I am random, and I want to change that perception, I must understand his point of view.

Let’s consider my career path. Not yet in my 40’s, I have been COO of a commercial real estate investment company, owned a residential building business, been Publisher of an accounting technology magazine and website, and taught gymnastics.  Today, I am a Vice President in an online advertising company, am the managing partner in a start-up, and referee basketball. RANDOM?  Maybe, but rather than considering me to be one of no plan,  I want your perception of me to be that I have taken opportunities to reinvent myself professionally. (You like that marketing spin?)

Growing from gymnastics coach to publisher of a technology magazine takes some obvious reinventing. But as a referee, a career of more than 15 years, I have had to reinvent myself many times to accomplish my goals and work for more than 13 different supervisors.  This year I will spend at least three summer weekends at officiating camps.  As I have shared earlier, camps are necessary today for officials who want to improve their ability, increase their schedule with a particular assigner, or get hired in a new league.

At the last camp I attended, a fellow official was telling me he learned how to be a “good camper” and told me he was mentoring another official on the do’s and don’ts of attending a camp. He said she needed to change the perception some people had of her. She, in essence, needed to reinvent herself. 

I was reminded of our conversation after reading a blog on Linked In by Dave Kerpen, CEO, Likeable Local.  He interviewed Dorie Clark, author of Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future. He asked Dorie for seven tips for reinventing yourself professionally.

1. Understand how you’re currently perceived

2. Test-drive your path

3. Look for mentors.

4. Don’t be afraid to go backwards temporarily.

5. Use social media to build connections

6. Show what you know

7. Get a wingman

These seven tips are all further broken down on my blog refwriter.com and I would encourage you to read some of those posts.  But if you don't feel like diving in (haha - totally calling you out on that) then consider the following: Have you reinvented yourself professionally? Do you want to reinvent yourself ? Which of these seven tips will be the most difficult for you?

Rachel Monroe has started two residential building companies and is currently part-owner of WM Homes, LLC.  She has a Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership and serves her community through leadership positions in United Way, Kiwanis International, and Shawnee Community Foundation.  For the last 17 years she has also been a women's basketball referee. She currently works in 8 NCAA Division I basketball leagues across the United States.


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