Pivoting? Here’s the Trick.
I love a good career pivot. The bigger the pivot, the louder I cheer. Probably because I’ve done so many 180 pivots in my lifetime.
Pivots can be scary because it feels like your gonna burn the house down and start over. But, I promise, you’re only doing reno.
I watched Siobhan 180, from being an evaluator to becoming a realtor. You used to collect data! Now you sell houses! I love it!
And, now that I think about it, I’d prefer a realtor that understands data and forecasts and trends. Wouldn’t you?
Coming from a data background is an asset.
A selling point.
Let’s say you’re in academia and you want to start your own business as a personal trainer. That’s a 180 pivot. Rad!
I suspect you might feel scared to make such a huge move because (1) you think people will think you just failed at academia and (2) your reputation as a personal trainer is non-existent. You’re starting from scratch.
But are you?
No, my friend. You have related experience. Lean on that.
See what I mean?
Your lunch time workouts in the student rec center, where the ventilation and air conditioning have always been so-so. That’s related experience.
Your “summers off” hiking mountains. Those become part of your branding.
All academics are essentially running their own businesses out of their tiny offices. You know how to budget. You know project management. You’re already used to putting in long hours, trusting that the far-distant payoff will eventually arrive.
You’ll be fine.
Don’t hide your past like it never happened.
Put it on the front page.
Indeed, part of what makes my data visualization workshop so effective is what I learned from my early days as a kindergarten teacher.
Like classroom management skills, to get hundreds of people to stick with me at the same time.
And curriculum design, to know how to make the content engaging.
And emotional intelligence, to sense when a particular group needs an activity or a break.
AND OF COURSE MY TEACHER VOICE.
Part of what made me an effective teacher was what I picked up waiting tables at the neighborhood pub in college.
I got good at seeing what people need before they see it themselves.
I learned all about smiling on the outside while thinking “go f yourself” on the inside.
All waitstaff have outstanding multitasking skills – and all teachers need these, too.
And the talents I learned waiting tables, I use in my data visualization work now.
Your pivots don’t have to be so big.
Maybe you’re thinking about just a 45 pivot – offering a new service.
Let’s say you’re a social worker who wants to start a podcast. Awesome!
You’ll pull from the patterns you’ve seen among your clients to develop the content.
You’ll get ideas for each episode’s structure based on the podcasts you already listen to when you take Pixie for walks.
Yes, you’ll have to figure out a few logistics like what type of mic to buy and how to edit – but those are just logistics. You’ve already got the hardest parts under control.
No matter the size of your pivot, you have the skills and talents and experiences that’ll bridge you.
You aren’t ever starting from scratch.
Sometimes we need help identifying our bright sides and how they’ll contribute to our next move. I can help. I learned how to pull out the best in everyone when I was a teacher. If you need an outside perspective on how to pivot, shoot me an email.
And enroll in Boost & Bloom. I’ll walk you through the logistics, step-by-step. And the whole community will cheer you on.
So, what did you learn from a past job that is surely contributing to your awesomeness in your current job? Email me about it. Then use that experience as your evidence. You’ll be good at this.