SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Business

May 1, 2013

Author teaches you how to reinvent yourself

SALEM — Author and marketing strategy consultant Dorie Clark got a hard lesson in rebranding herself when she was laid off from her job as a cub political reporter at the former Boston Phoenix on Sept. 10, 2001.

The next day, she was watching CNN as the terror attacks of 9/11 unfolded, sending the economy into a spiral and the world into uncertainty.

“I had to figure out how to make a living, and what was next,” she writes in her just-released book, “Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future” (Harvard Business Review Press, 2013).

Clark, a Harvard Business Review author and branding expert, will take her message of professional reinvention to the Enterprise Center at Salem State University tomorrow in a free workshop. It is her second time presenting at the center, for which she has also done consulting work.

Her work with the center stems from meeting its executive director, Christine Sullivan, during a Renaissance Weekend retreat a few years ago. Such invitation-only weekends are designed to build bridges among diverse leaders in various fields.

Clark, a 34-year-old Somerville resident who grew up in North Carolina, had no such road map to personal reinvention that her book offers. She came to New England to attend Smith College in Northampton, and later, she went to Harvard Divinity School.

After being laid off as a reporter, she became a freelancer, frozen out of a staff job as the Internet cut into the newspaper business.

“I realized I needed to come up with a plan B,” Clark said.

By chance, in 2002, she took a job as press secretary for former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich as he ran for Massachusetts governor. Reich didn’t win. And a presidential candidate for whom she was a press secretary never made it out of the primaries. She later ran a nonprofit advocacy group but instead of staying on that career path, she opened her own marketing consulting business.

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