Make That Career Pivot – Here’s How


Getting stuck in a career with no clear plans to move forward can be very very hard for anybody. Are you hoping you could get out of your current job, but don't know what you're going to do after you leave? A career strategist-author can help you.

Jenny Blake is a 32-year old career strategist who, through the Career Guru program she cofounded with Google, has already helped more than 1000 people plan out and create their next career steps. Blake writes the same advice that she gives in a new book, titled "Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One."

Blake also shared some of her insight in an interview with Refinery 29. Here are some things that career-pivoters should learn and do.

Get a one-year vision

Today's work economy is fast-changing, jobs that are sought-after this year might not be as in-demand the following year. Instead of keeping a strict five-year plan, it's better to make one-year plan with long-term goals. "Put together a one-year vision by asking, 'What does success look like a year from now?'" Blake said.

Instead of looking for another job or career outside of yourself once you feel like you've plateaued, Blake says it would be good to make an inventory of your core values, strengths, and interests, as well as what you want to see and feel a year from now. This will serve as criteria for your next move.

Focus on getting necessary skills - not on climbing the old career ladder

Blake suggests getting the skills that you want for yourself, instead of plainly climbing the career ladder.

"I recommend thinking of your career like a smartphone, not a ladder. So on a smartphone it's up to you to download different apps for different skills and experiences," she says. "Apps can be big and small, so we don't have to wait until we have the perfect career move lined up."

Make that pivot

Blake defines a pivot as making a small, short-term career move. It's not job-hopping; rather, it's patiently planting yourself where you are, scanning for better options while staying, learning new skills and testing your capacities, and then eventually taking the leap once ready. It's a process that allows you to leverage what you have until you make the next move.

Get a "friendtor"

While mentors are a great help, Blake suggests having a "friendtor" - "someone who might be in a similar position (of pivoting) and go through the pivot method and ask exploratory questions of each other." She says the key is not so that you could give advice to one another. "Rather it's about asking big, open-ended questions to facilitate their best thinking."

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