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4 Steps For A Successful Career Pivot

Pam Weinberg March 2020

Thinking about making a change in your career?

It may be a pivot that you are looking for—a pivot can be less overwhelming and a bit easier to accomplish than an all out career change. Picture an athlete pivoting on a basketball or tennis court—one foot stays in one place, but the other moves. A career pivot is similar: you may stay in the same industry, but pivot to a new role; or, you may do the same type of job, but pivot to a new industry.

“she never felt the “click” of feeling that she was succeeding as much as she should”

I recently worked with a client who made a successful career pivot—I will call her Katie. Katie had worked in the financial services arena throughout her career, first at one of the top internationally known banks in client relations, then, in the hedge fund space where she did investor relations for a few funds. While she liked her jobs well enough, she never felt the “click” of feeling that she was succeeding as much as she should; nor was she using the skills that were her most valuable.

Four Steps To Help Figure Out A Good Next Move:

1. Define career values: This is one of the first things to do in thinking about a pivot or change. Ask the question: what are the 5 most important things I need to have in my next career? Often, but not always, money and flexibility are on the list. For Katie, these were two important values, but often the two that are the toughest to get in one job. She decided that for now, money, and finding a career where she felt she had the greatest chance for long term success were most important.

2. Know your skills and strengths: It is critical to know what are your biggest skills and strengths and also to know which of these you would like to utilize or lean on in your next job. In Katie’s case, her biggest strengths were her personality and her networking skills and these were being underutilized in her previous jobs. This is a strengths assessment that I often use to help clients: https://www.gallupstrengthscenter.com/

3. Network: Talk to as many people in your industry or job as possible, try to seek out those who have made a career pivot to ask for advice or counsel. Learn as much as you can about the job(s) you would like to do next so that you are well informed. Katie developed a list of questions she took with her to these meetings and took all of her notes in a notebook so it was easy to review them.

“There is no science in making a career pivot.”

4. Search Job Boards: This can be a helpful exercise, even by putting in some key words to see job descriptions that might be a fit for you based upon your key skills and strengths.

Finally, take a leap. There is no science in making a career pivot. Get all of the information that you can, and go for it. Katie made hers after 18 months of hard work—and she is so happy she did! Want to find out what type of job Katie pivoted to? Reach out to me.

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About the Author:

Pamela is a Career Coach and Personal Branding Strategist working with a multitude of populations ranging from students and alumni; to professional organizations and corporations; to women in transition. Helping clients build their personal brands to become the stand out candidate or professional in their chosen field is what she does best. She provides a wide range of services for clients including: resume and LinkedIn profile development; social media training; interview preparation and job search techniques. With a niche in personal branding she frequently presents to colleges, universities, corporations, professional organizations and non-profits. Want to learn more about Pam? Reach out to her at [email protected].

Re-posted with permission from Pamela Weinberg’s site.