5 reasons for a career pivot

by | Aug 13, 2018

How a career pivot can help you reinvent yourself

A career pivot is when your career literally turns around or changes direction. Sometimes this can be a matter of personal choice or can be forced on someone.

career pivot

In these uncertain and fast-paced times that we live in, there are a number of factors which can bring about a career pivot:

#1 Economic downturn

Many found themselves turned around and kicked out when they were laid off or negatively impacted by the financial recession in 2008. Some realised that they had to change direction completely.

Charmaine worked as an Analyst in a Hedge Fund in London.

“I made my pivot in 2008 because I had to. Business was booming, everything seemed great. Then Lehman’s went under and the rest is history. One day Canary Wharf was a bustling hub and within months it was a graveyard. 132,000 jobs were lost in the City. Fortunately, I had some savings. I took in a flat mate and went back to college to train as a Coach.

I worked freelance for two years, barely making ends meet. Then I spent a lot of time gaining skills in organisational and soft skills development. After spending time working in Europe, I have come full circle. I am going back to work for a Big 4 company in Learning and Development, ironically providing services to financial services clients. It's been an interesting and amazingly fulfilling 10 years even if at times I have struggled financially.  I've learned new skills, built on my old ones and met new people. If I hadn't been forced to change, I would probably still be in the Financial Services sector.”

#2 Need to up-skill

The pace of change today is unprecedented. It’s hard for many to chug along as they were. They need to make some serious steps to retrain and upgrade key competencies.

Sofia had taken parenting leave of five years. Her job as a Brand Manager had changed considerably while she was outside the workplace.

“The landscape had shifted and so had the language. There has been a massive digitalisation and I felt overwhelmed when I read about the changes. It all felt foreign. I saw a career coach and invested in some competence testing. The results confirmed what I probably already knew - that my skills were on the people side of business, but I also discovered I was highly numerate! That was a shocker.

I have always been able to do mental arithmetic but dropped maths at 16 and never really paid much attention to it. This opened up a whole range of options that I had never even considered. I finally decided to retrain as a Project Manager. I’ve also been taking some finance and coding courses! I’ve got my eyes set on the tech sector now! Who would have thought?”

A career coach can help to provide focus and identify your strengths and weaknesses. Find out more HERE about how a career coach could help you.

#3 Lack of opportunities

In today’s uncertain economic times many demographics have had to reinvent themselves, whether young or older, taking on side hustles or building portfolio careers.

Juliette graduated with a Masters in Art History two years ago. Her dream was to work in a museum or major art gallery. That has not been easy.

“I had one unpaid internship after another and eventually my parents who had been more than generous said “no more.” They were right. I now spend my time doing ad hoc work at a bar and restaurant, with stints in a call centre plus some work as a model. Apparently I’ve got great hands! I like to be available for interviews. I’m on Task Rabbit for gardening and baby sitting - anything to pay the bills. I’ve given myself until 2020 then I will re-evaluate”

# 4 Delayed retirement

Mary-Joelle was unexpectedly widowed when her husband died of cancer last year. His medical bills cut into their savings. She was forced to leave her job as an Executive Assistant to be his full-time carer in his final two years. During that time she trained as a Yoga Instructor, focusing on going into senior communities and care homes.

"I needed the money. My financial security had been compromised by my late husband's medical bills, but I also wanted to carry on working for the social elements. My children live out of State, so they are not around as much as they used to be. I saw how important mobility and flexibility is for older people when Bob was hospitalized and I wanted to get involved in that part of elder care. I have been doing yoga all my life and enjoy doing it for a living now".    

#5 Wanting more from life

Some people just have enough of it all, as Hanne told me.

"I did what everyone tells you not to; I quit with no planning or strategy in place. I worked for an NGO in communications and fund-raising. One of my reports left for another job and I was not allowed to hire a replacement. I was already working 14 hour days and did not want to absorb the work of another person. My boss wouldn't give me a pay rise so I just said "Here's my resignation." With outstanding holiday entitlement I left within two weeks. I took a few months off to regroup and went back to university to train as a Nutritionist. I had already studied chemistry so got some exemptions. It was the best decision I ever made! I now work with a big football team on the nutrition programme for the players." 

So whatever the background behind your pivot if you give it your best shot, seek support when in doubt it can turn out to be the best thing you have ever done!

As career pivots become increasingly common, 3Plus can help you Learn how to identify your transferable skills.

Staff Writer: Career Contributor
3Plus welcomes any writers to join 3Plus as a Staff Writer. If you are an expert in Job Search, Career and Mentoring or just want to share your experiences, contact us! We would love to give you a voice!

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