Pivot: is a pin or shaft that is point of rotation for mechanical parts. So, what does mechanical engineering have to do with your career? Absolutely nothing, even the definition doesn’t seem applicable because when we are talking about a career pivot, we are talking essentially about a career change, not about rotation. But I digress.
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These are a few steps to help you when you want to pivot your career.
Firstly, let’s ignore the fact that the word “assess” blatantly has the word “ass” in it. Secondly let’s talk about how you need to figure out, what you want to do when considering changing careers. Taking into consideration of course, the fact that you haven’t magically or serendipitously found your passion for another field already by taking night classes in food styling, for example. Why do you feel you have to change careers, is it because of the lack of opportunities? Is it because the field is saturated? Or is it because of the politics involved? Assessing what is wrong and what is motivating you to jump ship faster than a rat on a sinking boat on fire, can help you avoid fields that will have similar parameters. When in doubt, you can even take a career aptitude test which will not only gauge your strength and weaknesses but some might even recommend jobs that will suit your needs.
2. Entry Level
Make sure you leave your ego with your resignation letter because switching careers might well mean entering a new industry on the ground floor. All those years of experience and knowledge within your respective field need to be thrown out, giving way for a need to learn and a motivation to grow. If you cannot leave behind your middle or upper management ways, then you definitely need to stick with what you know.
3. The Ninety Day Rule
According to this Forbes.com article a good metric for figuring out if it’s time to leave, is seeing if you’ve had 90 consecutive days of discontent at your current position. I know, you are awkwardly pointing out the fact that this article is about pivoting and most of what I said is about testing, but within the research I’ve done, I found that this is the most frequently touched upon topic: making sure you’re ready to go.
Sure, you want to dream of the day that you leave your stressful, thankless finance job and became a professional musician, but here’s the deal, between the time you leave the trading floor, until the moment you are performing in Madison Square you need to eat, pay rent and cloth yourself. So, you need to make sure you have enough money put away to keep you going until your reach your pivot’s end goal, no matter how stupidly ambitious it is.
5. Finally: Do It
So, you’ve gone through all these processes and after getting away like a thief with the company stock that you sold you are ready to take the plunge. According to the few testimonies and articles I found on the topic this is arguably the hardest thing on this list. It’s almost as hard as jumping of the high diving board, or having to put on pants after an extended period of (pant less) unemployment.
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Do you have any other constructive recommendation for people that are considering a career pivot? Let us know in the comment section below.