Fuel Stop: Six Must-Take Steps For A Successful Pivot
Stout Fuel Stop: 3 min read
Feeling like your career no longer serves your purpose? Thinking of taking it in a whole new direction?
Over a decade ago Jenny Foss, Founder & CEO of JobJenny.com, made a huge pivot-without a plan. We’ve got the Stout breakdown of her experience-driven advice on how to make your career transition a little smoother.
STOUT Takeaways To Power Your Pivot
▸ Plan First
Define your why and get your plan ready before your drop your safety net.
▸ Stay Steady
Things may not move as fast as you want-adjust, keep moving and check the boxes to track your progress.
▸ Keep Connected
Make sure your existing network knows your new direction and reach out to add new people and perspectives to your tribe.
1. Clearly Define Your Why
Remove those rosy glasses, forget the grass on the other side of the fence and write out answers to these questions:
– Why do I want this?
– How will it make my life better?
– What are the risks and the real possible rewards?
2. Detail Your What
If your why speaks to a pivot, define in detail what your new career/job will (and will not) look like. Will you be able to use your existing skills, contacts, and professional brand? Statistics show that those who simply “follow their passions” have lower long-term career fulfillment than those who draw on existing career expertise and leverage it to pivot onto a new path. Use your existing career capital and you’ll have a better chance of making a successful transition.
3. Find Out What It Will Take
Do you need new skills, certifications, licenses or classes and know how you can acquire them? Define all the necessary time and/or money requirements it will take to front-end this transition and that you are ready, willing and able to commit before you make the big leap.
4. Create an Action Plan & Track the Effort
Set your primary goal, milestones and timeline and track every step along the way. Successfully completing small steps gives you continued momentum and confidence, and that can help get you through when things don’t go as planned (and they will on occasion).
5. Shift Your Brand
Simple rule: “The easier you make it for them to “get” you, the better the odds that they’ll want to know more.” Work through how your current professional brand can be shifted so you you make sense to your new target audience. How can you layer your existing career expertise with your new skills so that you are not just a the logical choice for a job but a standout from the more traditionally skilled crowd.
6. Get The Word Out
Enlist the help of your most trusted contacts and get people you know will have your back on board with your transition. Make contact with passionate and successful people working in your new field of interest, build a bit of rapport and then ask for a bit of their time. Thank everyone who gives you input and advice along the way and show them how you implemented their advice- action speaks louder than words to show your gratitude for their assistance and appreciation of their expertise.
Need more direction?
For more on career pivots, check out Jenny’s tips on The 4 Most Common Mistakes People Make When Pivoting Their Careers and our Stout round-up on course corrections and pivots.