Pivot | Jenny Blake

Summary of: Pivot: The Only Move That Matters is Your Next One
By: Jenny Blake


Welcome to the summary of ‘Pivot: The Only Move That Matters is Your Next One’ by Jenny Blake! This concise guide sets out to show you that feeling stuck in your current job is a common experience but fear not, change is possible. This summary will help you understand and master the concept of ‘career pivot,’ showcasing real-life examples of individuals who’ve successfully made the transition. Learn how to get a clear picture of your desired future, make a plan, scan for opportunities, create connections, and ultimately launch your new direction.

Pivot Your Career

Learn how to shift your career without leaving your current employer, using the examples of professionals who have done it successfully.

Feeling stuck in your career is a common problem for many workers today. You might want to change tracks, but fear putting your finances at risk or upsetting your family and friends who express concern at your desire for change. However, it’s perfectly normal to feel that way.

The average American employee stays in one position for just four to five years before looking for new opportunities. Many people are dissatisfied with their current job, with up to 90% of employees reporting disengagement or disinterest in what they do.

To overcome these feelings, it’s possible to make a career pivot, which allows you to shift your career without leaving your current employer. Amy Schonberger, a senior creative strategist, was able to become a director of digital entertainment within the same public relations firm by taking responsibility for social media and blogging, which her colleagues were not interested in.

Pivoting your career takes planning, but it can be a great way to find new opportunities. Adam Chaloeicheep left his job as creative director of a real estate development company in Chicago to study meditation in Thailand, then went back to school to learn new skills and started his own company, ABC Design Lab. By using this outward-looking mentality, he was able to find fulfillment and financial success.

It’s important to remember that crises that make you look elsewhere are normal and can be opportunities for growth. A career pivot can help you find a new path, even if you’re not ready to leave your current job just yet.

Defining your values for successful pivoting

Change can be difficult, especially if you’re starting a new business or shifting to a new role. However, defining your values and vision can make these transitions smoother. By zooming out and identifying your broader values, you can establish a clear pivot vision for the next few years. Instead of focusing on the specifics of how and when you’ll pivot, start by thinking about what matters most to you. This approach will allow you to make more informed decisions when change inevitably arises. Two case studies, Justin and Gillian, demonstrate how defining values can lead to fulfilling career shifts. Justin was able to attend business school and meet new, inspiring friends in a healthier environment. Gillian’s focus on physical activity and like-minded peers led her to quit her job as a lawyer to teach yoga and eventually become a manager at a yoga studio. Overall, defining your values and vision can help you navigate large-scale changes with confidence and purpose.

Coping with Career Change

Changing your career can be a daunting task, especially with the anxiety that comes with it. Evaluating your current strengths and understanding your financial situation can help reduce the stress involved in the change. Knowing where your strengths lie can boost your confidence and help you transition more smoothly. Jason Shen’s interest in computers and building was apparent from his kindergarten years, and it gave him a huge confidence boost when he discovered it. Similarly, Andrew Deffley transitioned from being a production manager to an actor but took stock of his financial situation and came up with a plan. He saved up enough to take a six-month break to see if acting was the right thing for him. He also started a side hustle of production-related work, which helped him to keep himself financially secure and continue to audition for roles. By understanding your financial situation and evaluating your strengths, you can cope better with career change and transition with confidence.

Navigating Mentorship During a Career Pivot

Building a support network is essential when pivoting careers. A long-term mentor isn’t necessary, as experts and peers can provide guidance. One-off conversations can develop into mentorships, and mastermind groups provide additional support. The internet is also a valuable resource for finding communities. Building relationships at the beginning of a pivot will be beneficial throughout the process.

Embarking on a career pivot can be daunting, but building a support network can make the transition smoother. While some may believe a long-term mentor is necessary, the author argues that working with a series of one-off mentors and experts is better. These advisory sessions can transform into longer-term mentorships, as seen when the author contacted an expert in coaching and speaking for a one-off conversation. The expert offered to continue to help the author and suggested that they check in each month, forming a mentorship that has continued to this day.

Another way to build support is by creating a mastermind group of friends and peers with similar interests. These individuals can provide guidance and support throughout the pivoting process. For example, Luke Schrotberger reached out to a peer who had pivoted within the same company for guidance. The author and a friend were in daily contact to keep each other on track while writing their books.

If finding mentors and peers is difficult, the internet offers numerous sites and communities to ask for guidance and support. The author’s ten-week courses are a valuable resource and worked for someone transitioning from product management to agricultural development as a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Ethiopia.

Overall, building relationships and a support network at the start of a pivot is essential for success. Long-term mentorship may not be necessary, as one-off conversations can transform into mentorships, and mastermind groups and internet communities provide additional support.

Creating Opportunities

To create opportunities, you need to actively scan for new breaks related to your strengths. Being proactive and using your strengths to sniff out opportunities can lead to success. In addition, doing what’s known as platform-building can help make your desired direction known to all. Photographer Daniel Kelleghan was able to gain a cult following for his photos on Instagram, which gave him an instant breakthrough. Kelleghan’s platform gives his clients a way to get in contact and offer him jobs. The point is that Kelleghan never stopped creating opportunities. He achieved success through education, hard work, and sheer will. Without these, his “lucky break” would never have been possible.

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