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  • Writer's pictureEilish Jamieson

The Art of the Career Pivot

Updated: Mar 31, 2021

The key to designing a career change that works for you, on your terms.

Among the words that has entered our vocabulary this last year - pandemic, herd immunity, Megxit - I think one more deserves a mention.

The Pivot.

When I was first introduced to the word a few years back I assumed it had some origin in ballet, but actually the term is more often associated with basketball. Pivoting is when a player stands still and steps with one foot . The foot that stays on the ground is called the pivot foot.

During 2020, when normality was temporarily suspended for us, everyone from big corporates to entrepreneurs started to acknowledge that they needed to change direction. The corporate pivot became the buzzword in boardrooms and executive teams. How can we leverage our competitive advantage to service our clients in a new way?

Meanwhile, corporate employees, adapting to working from home, began to ask themselves a very similar question.

How can I leverage my skills to serve my needs in a new way?

5 years ago, as I left an 18 year executive career in banking to begin my own pivot, I was clear on very little. Except for one thing. That I needed to change things to better meet both mine and my family's needs.

In that first pivot year I got every WHAT NOT TO DO t-shirt, and ended up being busier than I had ever been in my years in investment banking (and that is saying something!). There were headhunters, recruiters, search engines, and business bootcamps - but they all had one problem. They assumed I knew what I was looking for. When, in reality, I was far from knowing what I wanted or needed.

Although I didn't know it at the time, I started to create the early designs of what is now one of my signature group coaching programs, The Pivot Series.

Some of you will know that this has been a labour of love for me over the last few lockdown months, as more and more clients spoke about wanting a safe, supportive space to explore what their next career chapter might look like. In fact I jokingly suggested that I might start the Pivot Cafe (no, not Pinot!) due to the number of virtual coffees I had on the topic.

The 6-week program builds on 4 modules around anchors, mindset, methods, and mapping, taking participants through the process of pivoting. Being an small cohort means that everyone feels supported, and the community brings about an incredible sense of accountability and partnering. Otto Scharmer's model of change from 'U-Theory' (open heart, open mind, open will) adds a depth of self-awareness and alignment to the program, that can often be the make or break in any cycle of change.

Last Friday I ran a live event talking about my own experiences of pivoting and what I see and hear from many of the clients I work with. I shared resources that you can start to apply TODAY, whether you plan to pivot in the future or not.

But the item that drew the most reaction from listeners was a slide on why people get 'stuck'. I received 10 messages in my inbox just an hour after going live and half of them where from people saying that they hadn't quite realised but that they had 'made themselves stuck'.

Our careers can be one of the most fulfilling and satisfying parts of our lives. But when we stop choosing and start accepting, we risk losing the fulfilment and joy that comes from doing something that feels aligned with you and your life.

You can watch and listen to my live recording here. I would love to hear your thoughts and comments on career pivots too!

And if you are interested in finding out more about The Pivot Series, then you can find more details here. Booking is open for two weeks only - from 29 March to 12 April on a first come, first served!

“After hundreds of hours coaching, I have not met one person who regretted a career pivot. I have many who have regretted not doing it sooner.”

Book a call if you want to learn more!


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