Have you ever thought about making a career shift? Do you feel stuck and unsure about where to start?
Pivoting your career might be the answer!
To pivot your career means making an intentional shift in a new direction yet related to your core professional identity. It is usually the first methodical step of a full career change. It is a fairly common practice amongst professionals who reach a plateau in their career but don’t always have the desire nor the courage to quit their job, have their career implode or start something from scratch.
It is a safer, more calculated and rational shift that is usually easier to explain and follow through.
For example, someone in general human resources might make a shift towards specialising in Learning & Development, or someone specialised in social media marketing might want to take their skills to the real world and explore Public Relations. It could also mean that the core job will remain the same but the industry may change. For example someone working in Finance in the oil & Gas industry might make a shift towards a job in Finance in the Fashion industry, with a future objective in mind to work in Fashion outside of Finance.
Here are 4 steps you can take to start pivoting your career:
1. Gain Clarity on your Goals and your Unique Selling Points
You may have reached a plateau in your career and you may know that you need to make a change, but you may not be clear on the kind of pivots that are available to you. First clarify who you are as a professional, your core skills, your core knowledge, your core personal attributes, your strengths, etc. Once you have your list, select the ones you want to keep, remove the ones you want to drop and add those you would love to gain, learn or improve. Finally make a list of options you would love to consider including the skills, knowledge and personal attributes they all require. You will then gain clarity on which of those options are doable pivots. If you need help to do this exercise, get a career coach!
2. Identify the skills & knowledge gaps, attend a course or get a certification
Most people suffer from the impostor syndrome when making a career shift, regardless how small the shift might be. This means they feel as if they are under-qualified, out of place or a complete fraud. By identifying the skills and knowledge gaps between your current job and your desired job, you will be able to pinpoint what you need to learn or improve in order to feel more confident through the shift. A training course or a certification can go a long way in making you feel legitimate for the position you are aiming for. Have a look at job descriptions for the role and identify any specific skills, knowledge or certifications that seem to be required by recruiters.
3. Get the right tools – Rework your Pitch / LinkedIn Profile & CV to match your objectives
You need the right tools to introduce yourself and make a positive impact on potential recruiters and decision makers. The 3 main tools you will need to rework are:
- Your pitch – People relate to stories so make sure your story makes sense and that people can relate to it from an emotional perspective. For example, “CSR has been a part of my job for years but I became really frustrated with the limited budget and focus my company would give to protecting the environment, so I decided that it was time to make a bigger impact and work for an organization that truly dedicated time, resources and effort to this cause”
- Your LinkedIn profile – Change your summary, the description of your jobs, your industry, your key words, your skills and your interests to best match the move you are trying to make. Also, start gathering recommendations from peers and stakeholders that will help you justify the shift
- Your CV – should be a reflection of why you are perfect for the job you want, so you might need to change its focus, key words and format accordingly. Your old CV will most likely make you attractive for your current job, which is not what you want!
4. Build a Network & Start Conversations
Once you have all the right tools in hands, get out of your comfort zone and reach out to people who are currently doing what you want to do. Also, connect and reach out to your potential future bosses, the decision makers. It’s important you start building a network; be curious, ask questions, build genuine relationships and make an effort to surround yourself with people who can help you pivot.
Emeline Roissetter | Certified Career Coach | MomentuM Coaching & Consulting
Want help to rethink and potentially shift your career? Book a private coaching session with me! www.momentum-cc.com