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How to start when you want to Pivot Your Career

Want to Pivot your career and don’t know how and where to start? When I tell people the story behind the several career switches I made they are impressed by the approach I took to make this work. At the same time, they are surprised by the effort it took to get there, btw.

Mariëlle, does pivoting my career really take that much time? Putting my skills, knowledge and competencies onto a piece of paper is done swiftly. It shouldn’t be that difficult, right?”

This is what people tell me when I invite them to work with me for 4 months to support their Career Pivot. Until we start talking about what they want to do in the next position, what competencies they want to use and how they want to use them. Until we start talking about the things they value being an employee and so on. In this post, I explain how to get started when wanting to Pivot Your Career. Also, I provide 3 suggestions you can use to get rid of How a career rut. Let’s get going!

Why should I have a plan in place when wanting to Pivot my Career?

Pivoting your career means you want to move out of your current industry, apply your knowledge outside of the sector you have been active in so far, or use your competencies and skills in a different role.

We all have a different motivation for wanting to Pivot our Careers. Just a few I run into frequently:

  • Not being able to use your skills in the same industry after relocating to the Netherlands. You find it difficult to find a job in the Netherlands matching the skills and knowledge you need to pivot.
    You never thought about what you want out of a next opportunity outside of your area of expertise. Let alone about how to brand yourself in the labour market as a THE desired candidate to hire
  • The feeling of: “Is this it?” I don’t want to do this for the rest of my life. You worked a few years and have the feeling of “knowing it all” and want to experience some new learnings.
  • Big life events happened to you recently, like in the last year or so. Life events like becoming a mom, losing a close relative, divorce, relocation, dismissal and so on, make people evaluate their lives. Big life events are often the forerunner for a Career Pivot.

Also in my case, life events stirred up my sense of urgency in wanting to Pivot my Career. After losing my dad and my job on the same day, I felt it was time to re-evaluate the things that matter to me and how I would like to continue my career path. To find out this wasn’t only about putting my skills and competencies into place. It was and became an inner journey.

Why is it so hard to get going with Pivoting Your Career?

What I notice (and experienced myself) is we have a hard time making big decisions, we let others lead the way. While pivoting our careers we make the decisions based on the available job offers instead of looking at the way we would like to use our skills and capabilities.

  • “I never thought about what I want out of the next opportunity”
  • “I don’t think now is the right time for me”
  • “I’ll do what the employer wants me to”

Are phrases I hear too often. It is such a pity to keep yourself from doing the things you’re great at and do with ease. Pivoting your career is a project on its own, it deserves your full attention. In your life, you spend a lot of time at work. You and your employer deserve a happy and satisfied YOU.

But why should you have a plan in place?

What you could do to pivot their careers is: Applying at random. This is what I believe is one of the mistakes people often make when wanting to pivot their careers, btw. Applying at random helps to grow your feeling of what’s going on in the market, but the number of rejections coming got me demotivated. Besides this, I also knew I could not go on with applying at the same companies over and over again, would they ever take me seriously if I kept on doing that. I thought this pivot was never going to happen.

What I noticed when pivoting my career is that it all seemed so obvious to me. It was so obvious how I could apply my skills in the roles I was applying to as so on. The only thing I forgot and many people I meet forget, is to research if you can and how to bridge the gap between what you want and what the employer is looking for. Make the obvious visible to others as well.

My inner journey allowed me to bridge this GAP and allowed me to create a personal profile that made me a possible hire to the employer. Of course, there’s more to it, this is just one example of where things can go wrong and you sometimes mess up all your chances with this one company you want to get hired at. And one of the reasons why I think you should have a plan in place.

A plan will save you loads of time in the end. Perceive this is as a project you currently run, with a beginning, development phase, implementation phase and a closing. Well, all nicely said and done, Mariëlle, but what should the plan contain? 

Have you checked the events page to see if the Masterclass Pivot Your Career Successfully is on? This might help you to get even more insights on how to Pivot Your Career Successfully. 

How to get started with Pivoting your Career

Here are 3 suggestions for the first 3 steps you could take to start Pivoting Your Career. I’ll offer you 3 steps of the beginning phase of your Pivot Project.

Set up your Pivot Project Plan (the beginning)

A plan with a deadline, the resources you will need to make this work (this is YOU), the investments in time and money will help you to keep going and stick to your plan. It will also help you to make your plans to pivot more accurate and precise along the way. The first step in your project plan should be: “Defining why I want to pivot my career?”. Is it really your career you wish to pivot or is something else going on?

Make the obvious, obvious (the beginning)

As mentioned in the previous paragraph, and something people tend to overlook is that we make the obvious obvious for the people you will meet in the process of pivoting your career. You know what you have to offer and why you want to pivot, but how will this help the person that will hire you in the future? It helps to take a look at what’s already there in terms of competencies and network, among others, to support you in this process.

Be clear about where you want to take this (the beginning)

A project plan not only contains deadlines, resources and investments, it also has a clear end goal. The more accurate and precise you are about your next step, the easier it’s going to be to ask for the support you need and the easier it’s going to be for people to support you in return. And please, do keep it simple over here.

When people start doing their research on future options, things get complicated because of the number of options they have lying in front of them. This causes overwhelm and stress, so keep it simple and take the small steps.

Follow these 3 suggestions and I know you will make a great star

t in pivoting your career.

Let me know how you are getting on?

There is always the possibility to schedule a 60-minute introductory call to learn more about how to Pivot Your Successfully taking your personal situation into account. Don’t hesitate to check my schedule over here and plan your call today.

# Tips and Reminders for Pivoting Your Career

Let me close with a few reminders.

#Reminder 1

The only one who can make this Pivot Project a Success is you, you are your most important resource in this project, so you better take good care of it. This means it’s OK to make choices that suit you. It means it’s OK to make mistakes along the way and adjust your project plan bit by bit. When this project drains the energy out of you, it’s time to reflect, find help and see where things go wrong.

#Reminder 2

Pivoting your Career takes time. Just a gentle reminder that this process usually doesn’t happen overnight. The main reason for this is the fact that tapping into a new network, building up new connections takes time. While supporting people in this process, I notice it’s most important to see the step by step progress you are making. Keeping a progress log helps to keep the energy to make this work high.

#Reminder 3

Procrastinating to get going?

This usually means the steps you can take to pivot your career are not clear enough to you. This is where a career coach like me comes to the rescue. By asking questions, visualize things and standing beside you, I can help you to create the clarity you are after. The clarity allows you to take the first step. Don’t hesitate to schedule a first introductory call to find out what I can mean for you and experience how coaching can support you.

One last thought……

Pondering about what YOU want takes time. It deserves your attention. Ponder about the tasks and responsibilities, you want to have in the next opportunity. About the knowledge, skills and capabilities you would like to use in the future and which will help you to solve the problems of your new employer. You spend way much time at work doing something that doesn’t feel right to you. The time you spend on this is never wasted time.

What to do next?

If you read this post to the end, I think you currently feel the desire or urgency to Pivot Your Career. Perhaps you would love to know more and deep dive into this subject further. Then join the Masterclass Pivot Your Career Successfully coming up soon.

Is the Masterclass not on the schedule anymore? I invite you to schedule your first 60-minute introductory call to support you in Pivoting Your Career. You can use the scheduler below to schedule your call today.

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