Career Woman

The power of reinvention


Throughout my career, I’ve spent time working at various businesses, from ad agencies to my current position as co-founder and CMO at a start-up. Throughout all of these positions I came to understand that in order to get better at my job, or to get the next job, I had to learn and adapt, almost having to reinvent myself as I moved to a new job.

This is a process I’ve seen in so many of today’s most famous and successful women, think Oprah (going from a news host to chat-show host), Madonna (and the way she has reinvented her image) and even Angelina Jolie (actress and now a human rights activist).

This is a process that takes a lot of courage to do, the act of shedding your old self, to embrace a new and unknown persona or domain isn’t easy, but it’s not meant to be. However, if you take the steps and the time to learn, it can be a way to keep yourself relevant, a way to keep you pushing forward and ultimately to success.

What is reinvention?

Reinventing yourself is best defined as a process that one goes through in order to change their skillset, mind-set or even themselves physically. Think of it as creative destruction, breaking down the old paradigms (or behaviours or body) you lived by and replacing it and revolutionising it with a new paradigm!

Now I will outline the way I learned to reinvent oneself; these are the steps that any businesswomen who wants to keep ahead should employ and constantly use in order to really make difference in her career and life.

5 steps to reinvention and change:

Use these 5 steps as a guide to your own reinvention, everyone will have a different timeframe and methodology, however these 5 steps have worked for me, and I think for any women who is looking to restart or reinvent herself, these steps will be a great starting point!

1) Create your vision: this requires some deep and critical thought. You need to imagine and think about who or where you want to be.

For example, when I left a corporate job to be an entrepreneur, I had to think about the fear, uncertainty and other negative emotions I would feel. But you also want to look and appreciate how that transformation will feel also, for me this meant freedom, working on something I love, and being part an exciting project.
Think about all the emotions you’ll feel, the rewards you seek and the feeling of your new metamorphosis.

2) Write your vision: Now you need to write about your plans, thinking about the questions lie why you want to change, how you plan to change, what will you do after the change and what will you do if you don’t change.

You also want to creative a narrative for yourself post-change, and write about how life will be different, and how you imagine it will be make you feel- this is important as it acts as the support mechanism if you ever have a bad day or setback during this change.

3) Learn: Now you want to learn about this new change you want to encourage. For me, this meant reading books on entrepreneurship, taking on small tasks within start-ups in order to learn about the way this new environment works and finding mentors or people with good advice, to learn from.

This learning stage is really important to preparing you for this reinvention/change, as you can get a sense of the ‘tools’ you need and also the setbacks you may face, so you’re better prepared for them. Take the time to really learn everything you can, because it will make your reinvention process so much smoother, than jumping blind and hoping.

4) Jump into your new reinvention: Now is the time to actually implement this change. Step 4 is the hardest part of your reinvention as this is the ‘doing phase’ of your change. For me this was when I finally took the plunge and co-founded Ellyot, a start-up that is working to revolutionise where and how we work!
When you are in this part of your reinvention, it will normally feel as though you’re out of your depth, it was hard for me, however, you soon find your feet.

It’s like walking, you spend so much time crawling or moving in one set way, that when you make the transition it’s difficult and filled with a lot of setbacks and falls, but persevere through this, and you end up progressing!

5)Refer back to your vision: Now that you’re in your change or post change, the final step is one of moving forward and getting better. Reinvention isn’t easy, but every time you feel like you are slipping off the path, refer back to your vision and let that encourage you to keep on that path, until you fully reinvent yourself.


The process can be slow and full of setbacks, but that what makes it so rewarding, and when you finish this process, you’ll appreciate how far you’ve come, but also how far you’ve got to go. Surround yourself with positive people, who will help you and provide you with advice when you need it, but also critique you when you need it.

When I helped to start Ellyot, I realised that reinventing myself from my corporate Ad-agency background was tougher than I thought. The process was long and adapting isn’t as easy as I thought. However now that I’ve found my feet, I can appreciate the change I have made and also I’ve come to enjoy journey, which has been rewarding.

Every businesswomen will have to change in some way throughout her lifetime, whether that’s jobs, taking the leap from a 9-5 job into your own start-up and even the transition into motherhood, all of these changes can be daunting.
Using the 5 steps above will help you to make that change and reinvention, to keep up in today’s competitive world, but also help you get personal satisfaction, by seeing how far you’ve come.

About Tina Chou

Tina Chou is the Marketing Director at Ellyot, a start-up based in London. Ellyot is an app that allows people to discover, book and network across amazing work-spaces. The community includes creators, entrepreneurs and collaborators working across co-working spaces, art galleries, hotels and other extraordinary venues. We believe in a world where people can be empowered to choose where they work and with the people they love. Let’s move away from management by presence to management by outcome.

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