Mary Ann Faremouth

By Mary Ann Faremouth

Reinventing Our Careers

Reinventing Our Careers 150 150 Mary Ann Faremouth

When I sat down to write this article about the First Step of the Faremouth Method, Do a Self Inventory, a song kept popping into my head.  It was the song made famous by Martha and the Vandellas, called “Dancing in the Street.”

I suppose my Detroit roots are showing, but I’ve always found the artists of Motown to have some pretty powerful words in their songs that always made me stop in my tracks and think.  Especially right now, with so many people thinking about reinventing themselves in one way or another, this song just spoke to me when it says:

“Calling out around the world

Are you ready for a brand new beat?

Summer’s here and the time is right

For dancing in the street…”


The word “Dance” as a metaphor evokes connection, creativity, improvisation, beauty, emotion and meaning.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve been thinking about all of those things a lot lately, especially when I get calls from my applicants, clients, relatives and friends, who can’t see family, etc., or are not sure who they will be post Covid-19.  I think we are all going to have to Reinvent Ourselves in one way or another. I think we are all ready for a “brand new beat.”

Amid the chaos and loss of control, our own sense of self is one of the few things we CAN control.  Additionally, sheltering in place gives us a unique opportunity to do some personal observation, self-reflection, introspection and evaluation because we’re not losing time driving across town to an in-person meeting and then racing home to make sure we can take the kids to baseball practice or other activities which take us away from that small amount of personal time.

The first question a lot of us get stuck on is:  Where do I start?  Having gone through several personal and professional reinventions myself, I have found great value in doing a “Self- Inventory” into my own hierarchy of values.  The following important questions are ones that I have found have helped me and many of the candidates I have worked with through the years to help them in times of major change and transition. Take a look at these and see if they might help you as well:

  • What’s important right now for my personal and/or emotional development?
  • What’s important for my financial situation?
  • What’s important for my community/interpersonal and social needs which allow me to remain safe but not feel so isolated and alone?

Before we can make any real changes that will have important consequences we have to go within and do our own inventory.  All three are equally important and must be looked at in a three dimensional, holistic, and practical way.

We can evaluate how our lives were in pre-COVID-19 times and examine if we were really happy.  Our current lifestyles have led us to be in perpetual motion and, perhaps, for many of us, this pandemic has forced us to stop in our tracks and made us think about what is really important in our lives.

I know, for me, the pandemic has allowed me to get more exercise.  I try to walk at least five miles a day, three or four times a week, get outside in the sun and soak up that good Vitamin D, etc.  I’ve even made myself sit still long enough to listen to some meditation tapes that make me appreciate the present moment more.  How does that list look for you?

Getting clear on our financial situation is also a good thing to do. Were your spending habits such that you really prepared for a few off months?

Taking the time to evaluate your spending habits might allow you to review what non-essential spending you might not do in the future.  Do you really need another pair of shoes?  Maybe we find that rather than investing in material things, it’s more important to invest in ourselves, such as taking a class or workshop.

Additionally, reviewing your social/community habits is so important to feeling balance and fulfillment in our lives.

  • Has the pandemic and spending more time at home allowed you to read more good books, practice more mindfulness techniques like Yoga, Meditation, etc.?
  • Are there hobbies like painting, gardening, cooking that you didn’t have time for before which now give you more joy and fulfillment?
  • Has being at home so much more allowed you to connect with Zoom meetings where your reach of people has been wider and more enriching?   Recently, I did a Zoom class and was able to meet people from other continents like Australia where a previous in-person class would never give me that opportunity.

This might be an opportunity to examine the strengths of our relationships and family to gauge how we are performing as a wife, mother, friend, professional, student, writer, etc.  In this state of sheltering in place, without all the noise around us, what do we value, and how do we prioritize it amidst the go-go-go world we had before?

While considering the answers, it is important to not undervalue your career goals.  It’s a real balancing act but we need to be reasonable about what we have to do to survive, especially if we are a single parent or a family depends upon us to put food on the table.

To adjust your Career path, take this opportunity to learn new skills, and pursue interests that have been on the back burner.  The internet is full of instructional videos/coaching and or training platforms that are just a click away.  More and more are now being offered on the internet because of the pandemic.  Use it as a tool for REINVENTION, not just a vehicle for killing time as we wait for the economy to bounce back.

We all should be looking at our lives as a whole and reflecting on what changes we can make to provide for a better future.  In all of our constant motion activities of the past, it was easy to lose track of what’s important.

Take this opportunity to get ready for “a brand new beat.”  Do your own “Dance in the Street.”

“Oh, it doesn’t matter what you wear

Just as long as you are there

It’s an invitation across the nation

A chance for folks to meet”