Are you feeling restless, bored and frustrated at work? Or has a life situation thrown you off course, out of love or simply unable to maintain the same career path? It’s at these moments a ‘Career Pivot’may be on the cards and something which can be scary, play on your mind for a while and keep you stuck, unhappy and under performing unless you can move forward with confidence.
A Career Pivot is that moment in your career where you purposely reset the sail and systematically shift yourself from one direction to a new direction. For a mid-career professional, it can be the defining moment of your mid-life years. It was for me. It can turn into the time when you pivot to finally fix what hasn’t been working. When you decide to stop compromising and start living and working the life you truly want to your best ability.
But how do you make sure you pivot with confidence?
If you are in a steady job which is paying the bills, have a family to support and feeling safe and secure, the idea of career pivoting may, on one hand, feel exciting. Yet, on the other hand, it may feel like the scariest and implausible thing you can possibly do next.
You get the fact the change will bring new challenges, re-energise you, bring desired flexibility and break the mundane. However, uncertainty can keep you stuck.
Here are my ideas for 4 ways to career pivot with confidence.
1. Get crystal clear on your career pivot vision
The more you can see, feel and immerse yourself in a new career destination, the more likely you’ll feel confident about succeeding. I strongly recommend spending time visualising all aspects of your new career. Where will you be? who will be with you? what will you be doing every day? how will it make you feel? are all great starting questions.
Author, Stephen Covey teaches us to ‘start with the end in mind’ as a habit of a highly successful person. It’s a solid piece of advice as it focuses your attention on what you truly want and allows you to create a plan. So, look forward 2 years from now and then work your way backwards, step by step until you can see the formation of a plan in simple and less frightening chunks.
2. Be sure you are pivoting for the right reasons
Career pivoting is not easy. It takes patience, investment in a lot of self-reflection and career plus life planning. It can often be a long process. It may also not necessarily be the right or only option for you. Many people come to me as a coach saying they want to pivot, to try something new and escape the slump and boredom they feel. However, with a period of focused reflection and questioning, it can become clear to many that it’s not what they need, truly want or in fact what will be best for them at a particular moment.
If you have the itch to career pivot spend time building personal insight and understanding on your reasons. Make sure it’s exactly what is right and feasible for you. Start by working out what is important to you and what’s missing in your career. Reflect and review what you enjoy doing, what you need at work and life to be happy and satisfied. Understand where your strengths lie, your passions and your purpose. Find the gaps, the desires and you’ll find the motivations. A well thought out and analysed situation, if it reinforces the idea of career pivoting, helps manage the fears surrounding any personal risks and responsibilities which will without a doubt come up as you push forward.
3.Challenge your beliefs
To career pivot, you need to be able to keep on going when the road ahead looks murky, challenging and unstable. Spotting your healthy and unhealthy beliefs along the way is crucial to your ability to push on every day and through any hurdles. Take time to audit your beliefs at key steps along your plan. Thinking about them in advance helps keep the path less bumpy but daily reflection also will help. Ask yourself, what thoughts are holding you back and where are these beliefs rooted? Understanding your own stories and limiting beliefs will empower confidence. Challenging them head on will help breakdown self-imposed barriers in your way.
Always seek to bounce your ideas off those who can help you see past your own excitement and passions, your hesitations and any desire to escape current pain, boredom or situation. Good old-fashioned talking with friends, family and professionals always helps build confidence in decisions. Use tools to help you look at different perspectives and to find ideas which are hidden from your natural eye line. Any form of support will boost your self-belief and self-esteem along the way making you feel confident in your ideas, self and direction.
Ready to make a career pivot? Use this insight to guide your way clearly and confidently.
Victoria Walsh is a Mid Life Strategist and Career Coach, supporting professionals in their 40s and 50s to navigate the changes and transformations they seek to maximise performance, happiness and satisfaction at work and in life. Book a free discovery session to find out more about services.