After the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of workers considered changing jobs or starting businesses. Many sought new roles or industries where they might find more fulfillment.
However, making a complete career change could require much time, effort, and resources – which is why career pivoting may be more effective in terms of time, effort, and resources.
Take Stock of Your Current Skills
Transitioning to another industry requires a firm foundation of skills and experiences from which to build, making a smooth transition much harder.
Career pivots may be ideal for professionals who feel discontent in their current role or industry. You might feel your work no longer reflects your values or interests and wish for a change. Instead of letting dissatisfaction grow out of control, take some time to assess your skills and strengths and consider where else your potential lies.
As part of your evaluation of current skills, you must be objective and honest with yourself when assessing them. Do not exaggerate your abilities to increase the chance of employment; on the contrary, underestimate them or risk being left behind during hiring processes or undermining your value.
Begin by listing both the soft and hard skills you possess. Include any acquired through further education or self-study, with examples of when and how these were utilized. Use the Internet to research job listings at companies you admire for more insight into which traits companies look for when hiring candidates.
As part of your career development process, identify your most prized skills. Doing this will allow you to narrow down the positions you may apply to while understanding how your skills translate to new industries or roles.
Once you understand which of your skills can transfer into another profession, networking is critical to succeeding in that venture. LinkedIn makes this easy – search for people in both industries where you work currently and those you wish to enter and connect with them by sending a message expressing interest and seeking advice.
Spending one-third of your life at work requires finding something satisfying; therefore, finding an occupation you enjoy is vitally important. Whether your current role leaves you bored, the salary doesn’t match up, or more responsibilities are desired, a career pivot may solve any current issues or frustrations in your current role.
Many individuals change careers due to dissatisfaction with their current role or industry changes that no longer keep it stimulating or profitable.
Whatever their motivation, most professionals who switch careers do so due to feeling mismatched in their industry or role. Though switching may seem risky at first glance, remember that you possess the power over any aspect of your life — including work.
An effective career pivot requires careful planning, with self-evaluation being one of the first steps in this process. Begin by closely considering your skills, strengths, and interests to establish what type of work suits you best; furthermore, investigating industries or jobs that embrace those specific skillsets and interests would be worthwhile.
Consider your achievements from your current job and how they relate to the new career you want to pursue. Tracking these accomplishments allows you to use them when interviewing or writing resumes for potential employers; for instance, projects, where your work helped save money or meet deadlines can be mentioned during interviews to demonstrate value to prospective companies.
Once you’ve assessed your current abilities, it’s time to develop a plan for the future. For instance, if you want to transition into management, start working on projects which will strengthen your managerial skillset or freelancing on the side to gain experience in an unfamiliar industry while earning steady money at the same time. These small steps could make all the difference between finding a job that pays the bills and one which inspires.
Prepare for the Future
Career pivots involve more than simply changing jobs; in addition to changing titles, additional education or licensing could be required, which may interfere with your current schedule and cost money. Plan how you will handle this transition and plan financially for potential expenses.
As part of your career pivot process, you must assess which skills will be essential in your desired future. This is particularly true if you plan on shifting into an entirely different industry or role – jobs in technology require skills you might not have developed at your previous employer; certain forms of technology also continue to advance rapidly, potentially leaving behind those who fail to stay informed; therefore you must learn how to use new software while developing an in-depth knowledge of technological trends that affect business operations.
Making a career shift may result from discovering that their current work does not align with their core values and personal goals. Though not uncommon in today’s work world, economic conditions or increased personal freedom may intensify this trend.
A career transformation may not always be possible for those who have spent extensive time and resources earning specific degrees or certifications, so they may prefer taking a more gradual approach by moving into related fields gradually.
For instance, if a lawyer realizes they no longer wish to practice law but don’t wish to return to school for four more years, an option available to them would be taking on an alternative legal-adjacent role.
Employing a gradual approach when transitioning careers is practical and can be less stressful. Who knows? Maybe the new type of work captivates your interest enough for a full-time commitment!
Don’t Let Fear Rule Your Decisions
Career pivot can be daunting to many people. After spending decades doing one thing, changing directions completely may feel risky – the further away your new path from what was expected, the higher the risk becomes.
Career pivoting doesn’t need to be dramatic – it is more common than you might realize.
Modern employees may unwittingly switch careers without realizing it. Sometimes this happens because their job or industry has changed and left them behind; other times, it could be because they feel dissatisfied with their current job and want a change.
No matter the reason for a job change, it is essential that you recognize it is part of work and shouldn’t take it personally. But just because changes may come about doesn’t mean job hunters should jump headlong into one without thinking through potential changes first; take time to reflect on yourself and ask critical questions about your career before jumping in without considering other possibilities.
At this stage, it’s essential to establish your ideal career goals. Do your research and explore different industries and job offerings, then come up with an action plan detailing all the things you must do to reach those fields or jobs of interest – for instance, learning new skills through platforms such as Skillshare or taking on projects in your free time to gain experience.
Once you have a detailed plan, divide it into significant milestones and set deadlines based on what skills need to be acquired, tasks to finish in your current role or personal matters needed before making a transition. By remaining focused, this will allow for an easy transition. By remaining committed instead of distracted, fear of failure won’t linger as much, and confident decisions about career moves will come faster and more efficiently.