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Do you need a “Career Pivot”?

First off, what is a “Career Pivot”?? It makes sense that you need to understand what it is before you can decide if you need one or not! A pivot is not starting completely over in your career, it is just basically making use of your experience and education to move into a position that is more aligned to your interests, passion, values and, basically, who you are. A few years ago, I coached a degreed engineer who came into our 2nd meeting and said, “I decided I’m going to move on from engineering.” That’s a major transition! This client had only graduated with his engineering degree less than 5 years ago so he didn’t have a lot of experience in the field. I felt we needed to explore to see if this was really what he wanted to do before giving up on the field. After talking through his current position, frustrations, and interests he could see what he wasn’t getting from the role. He was associating his mis-fit in his current engineering position with the whole engineering field. He understood that it wasn’t the engineering field, as a whole, that wasn’t a fit for him but just this particular position and he could get his needs met in other engineering positions. We explored how he could “pivot” to a related position that better fit him and his passion in the field.

A pivot could be changing industries, product line, company size, job role or other small changes to best utilize your skills / expertise that you enjoy using. What are your skills and expertise that you enjoy using that you want to take with you to your next role? These skills and expertise are what you promote as leverage to your next position. The first step is to understand what are your skills and expertise that you enjoy doing, want to do more of and are marketable in today’s job market. The question to ask yourself is not what you can do but what do you enjoy doing. If you focus on everything you can do you run the risk of getting into another position that drains your energy rather than gives you energy! It is possible to get in a position where you look forward to going to work. Put yourself in the driver seat of your career, what direction you go with it and what skills you want to utilize. In today’s job market you are NOT at the mercy of employers. For every position you are considering or interviewing for, attempt to find out if it will give you what you need to be satisfied. Remember, companies change, the external environment changes, and you change so the role that fit you a few years ago may no longer fit you today. Consider what kind of a pivot you need to make to get your current role or a new role that is more aligned with who you are and what you need to be satisfied!


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