C-Suite Network™

The Job You Have (or Had) Is NOT the Only One You Can Do: Use Kaleidoscope Thinking to Create Your New Future

This is the time of year when we slow down enough to contemplate how our year went and what’s ahead for us. It’s also a time of year for layoffs, as companies do the same. That means that a lot of people will be looking for new job opportunities in 2023, either by their own choosing or because their role has ended.

If you are in the latter category, do allow yourself some time to grieve. Whether you loved that lost job or merely tolerated it, being without it is a major change in status, routine, income predictability, and access to colleagues.

When you’re ready to launch your search, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • You still have your skills and your experiences
  • Your skills and experiences will allow you to do jobs similar to the one you had (or are contemplating leaving)
  • Your skills and experiences can be applied in new ways to a totally different role
  • You are worthy

When I work with someone who is seeking a new position, I share my analogy of the kaleidoscope. Kaleidoscopes create their captivating images using the same pieces (think skills and experiences), combined in different ways each time you change the position of the wheel. This is an especially helpful analogy for people who have determined that they don’t want to keep doing the same kind of work until their retirement and for people whose industry is retrenching.


My own kaleidoscope story

For 20 years I worked with a Fortune 500 company as a marketing communications consultant across two of their divisions, writing the kinds of written collateral  that would launch new medical devices around the world. Through my own choosing and to avoid any conflict of interest, they were my sole client. My primary skills were active listening to my clients explain about the new device, discerning what each of their audiences (physicians, patients and third-party payers) would want to know, and writing messaging that would resonate with each. Of course, I had deep content knowledge and a strong understanding of branding as well.

Then, in 2011, my phone no longer rang. My in-basket was empty. I learned that in response to an economic downturn the company had outsourced whole functions under retainer arrangements, including marketing communications.

I was out of business.

Because I knew practically no one outside the company and no one knew of my skills, I turned to LinkedIn to grow a network and to attract new clients or a new position. I knew that my writing skills would allow me to write about my skills effectively but I felt I needed to know more about how the platform worked. So I began to study LinkedIn intensely, attending webinars, reading articles, and following thought leaders. Along the way I reached out to my former clients who had also lost their jobs and helped them with their profiles. They were so impressed with my new content knowledge that they sent me their friends who needed help with their online branding, too.


Now I am honored to shine branding brilliance on people instead of products. I listen actively to my clients – where they’ve been and where they’re going. I discern how to most effectively communicate to their intended audience. And then I write authentic and powerful marketing story for them, using my new deep content knowledge of how the LinkedIn platform works.

Look again at the paragraphs above and note that the words in boldface are common between the two paragraphs.  You see, the key skills from my prior job are now being used in my new career. The new image created by shifting the shapes in my own kaleidoscope turned out to be even more satisfying to me than the last.

My own journey is one of the reasons I am very effective and successful at working with others whose job has ended or who no longer find their job to be satisfying. In fact, this year The American Reporter named me one of the six “top personal branding experts to watch.”



Use Kaleidoscope Thinking for Yourself

To use kaleidoscope thinking, concentrate on identifying your skills. Start by examining and modifying your Skills inventory on your LinkedIn profile. We all have skills that we don’t enjoy using as well as skills we are passionate about using. When you identify a skill that you don’t enjoy using, just delete it from your list. Then look over your list again. The chances are that although what is left on your list are skills you enjoy using, they don’t fully capture all the value you can bring to a workplace. It’s time to add additional skills you enjoy using that are not currently represented on your Skills inventory. LinkedIn allows you to list 50 skills, and using all 50 slots is the best practice. You might find it helpful to do this exercise with a trusted advisor familiar with LinkedIn’s skills inventory.

When you’ve completed subtracting and adding items on your Skills inventory, identify your three most important skills and pin them in the top three positions of your inventory.


Expand Your Horizon

Now that you’re warmed up, think of places that need those skills. If doing a similar position for a competitor is not going to meet your needs, it is time to think expansively. Make yourself a list. Do any of these possibilities make you smile? If so, you’re ready to re-engineer your LinkedIn profile and other job search collateral to target those right-for-you opportunities.

Job transitions are difficult. Please remember that the world of work still needs your skills and you are worthy. And, if you could use some help along the way, I’m here.


About Carol Kaemmerer

Named one of six top branding experts in 2022 by The American Reporter, I’ve helped countless C-level clients over the past ten years to use LinkedIn to frame conversations, impress customers, and introduce themselves before their first conversation takes place.

Contact me through my website https://carolkaemmerer.com for:

  • Executive one-on-one assistance with your online brand
  • Professional speaking engagements on personal brand and LinkedIn
  • An autographed copy of my book, LinkedIn for the Savvy Executive-2ndEdition
  • My self-paced, online course
  • To receive my articles in your email mailbox monthly


My award-winning book, LinkedIn for the Savvy Executive-2nd Edition received BookAuthority’s “Best LinkedIn Books of All Time” award. It was named one of the “Top 100+ Best Business Books” by The C-Suite Network, and it is an International Book Awards winner. For your author-inscribed and signed book or for quantity discounts, order at: https://carolkaemmerer.com/books



Carol Kaemmerer

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