Guest Post: Scott Woodard (One Book)
Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One, by Jenny Blake (Amazon link)
Because careers are no longer straightforward, linear, and predictable; pivoting within our roles and throughout our careers is the new normal. Careers have become “more modular, customizable and dynamic;” employee tenure is about four-to-five years, and job roles often change dramatically within that tenure. For these reasons, we need to develop a “pivot mindset.”
A pivot mindset emphasizes natural shifts within our current role and from one position to the next while remaining open to a wide variety of options. It’s about building a portfolio of skills, experiences, and contacts, and adapting to new tools and tactics. In other words, we can no longer settle for a career of just phoning it in.
Career pivots can stretch us to our maximum capacity, but don’t have to be debilitating. To guide us, Blake offers a methodology or cycle that incorporates a four-stage process:
Plant: Starting from a strong base of who you already are and what is already working.
Scan: Researching new and related skills and mapping potential opportunities.
Pilot: Small, low-risk experiments to test the new direction.
Launch: Pulling the trigger on the bigger decisions that require commitment even in the face of uncertainty.
The Pivot Cycle is not a “one and done” effort, nor is it Plan B. It’s a continuous process of doubling down on what already works to make a purposeful shift in a new, related direction. And each pivot informs our next career move.
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