If you’re like me, you enjoy an epic tale of bravery – Braveheart, Gladiator, The Last Samurai.
As we know from these classic films, a warrior puts on protective armor before going into battle.
Without it, s/he wouldn’t last long on the battlefield.
No piercing spears or flaming arrows in the modern work place…nevertheless, it can be treacherous.
VUCA was a perfect description of pre-pandemic work life.
“VUCA on steroids” is a good way to describe it post 2020.
So how do you effectively navigate post-2020 work life?
Thinking back to the brave warriors – before you can navigate a death-defying battlefield, you’ve got to survive it.
Due to the increased uncertainty and volatility, a career pivot might just help you survive post-2020 work life – transitioning away from a job or industry into a new one.
Long before the Covid disruption, companies were on the lookout for resilient professionals who could navigate VUCA – adapt to change, juggle job roles, etc.
Circa 2022, resilience has never been in higher demand.
Nothing builds this invaluable personal resource like an unexpected career pivot.
3 Must-Haves For Successful Pivot
To make a successful career pivot several things need to fall into place – right time, right place, etc.
However, there’s a lot more than luck or coincidence at play.
Looking back on 4 successful pivots over my 25-year career, I have distilled 3 MUST-HAVE elements that are critical for success:
There are other factors to consider, of course. But without these 3, success is out of your reach.
After 4 ½ years in the world of academia, I got my first real job in the Finance industry – a sexy sector at the time, believe it or not.
Despite the newfound security with my shiny leather briefcase at my side, I started to wonder about other opportunities – there had to be more to life than sitting behind a desk all day in a stale office building. I felt 23 going on 63.
Walking away from the safety and comfort of my new job, I decided to teach English overseas.
I knew nothing about teaching and hadn’t studied English. Nevertheless, I was dissatisfied with my static job and was curious about work and life in another part of the world.
Coming to MUST-HAVE C #1, CURIOSITY propelled me into action.
What else is out there? What would it feel like to do something else?
If you have started to feel dissatisfied in your job or simply curious about other work opportunities, here’s a question to get you thinking –
In your professional life so far, what have you experienced that you could imagine yourself doing (carpentry, coaching, car racing)?
Here’s an actionable tip and mindset to guide you:
Tip: Find someone who has done this job and ask her or him specific questions about it (e.g. What are the top 3 skills you need in this job?).
Mindset: Gather information, do the research.
But I was at the beginning of my career and didn’t have much to lose, right?
Yes, but…it took a lot of COURAGE to leap into the unknown (MUST-HAVE C #2).
It takes COURAGE to step away from the safe and familiar – doing something that has no guarantee of success.
If you feel a lot of resistance when thinking about leaving your work situation, here are 3 strong arguments to help minimize your fears:
1. Whatever happens, you’ll learn from it. And grow because of it.
2. You are dissatisfied with your status quo – the whole reason for desired change!
3. You can always go back to what you were doing before.
Here’s a powerful mantra to help you stay brave and keep your eyes on the goal:
“Break status quo to grow.”
In order to confront your fears and keep your eyes on the goal, you need a big dose of CONFIDENCE, MUST-HAVE C #3.
By the way, how would it affect your confidence if you managed to make a successful career pivot?
Tip: Make a list the top 3 potential benefits (e.g. more energy for my kids).
Mindset: Nothing builds confidence like success.
One thing I’ve learned again and again is that career pivots don’t always go like you wish or expect them to – another reason why CONFIDENCE is so important.
Without enough CONFIDENCE, you could be tempted to turn back at the first roadblock.
An unexpected delay might cause you to get scared and revert to your status quo.
Real Help Fast
By the way, a warrior doesn’t always need to fight. Probably has a few scars, though.
But a good warrior needs these 3 qualities – in the 13th or the 21st century.
To continue the action-taking mode you started with this article, here’s the CAREER PIVOT ACTIONABLE CHECKLIST.
If you’re ready for my hands-on guidance and direction, check out the CAREER PIVOT 1-TO-1 COACHING PROGRAM.
Wherever you are in your journey, I wish you lots of success in your next steps.
Thanks for reading!