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The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One

By Jenny Blake
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  • Contains 9 key ideas
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Pivot by Jenny Blake

Pivot (2016) defines the four-step approach for navigating personal career changes and growth. In addition to demonstrating the basic elements of this method, author Jenny Blake shows how it can also be incorporated by managers into their day-to-day business practices.

Key idea 1 of 9

Changing career paths is becoming increasingly common and isn’t something to be afraid of.

We all know the feeling: you’re stuck in a rut in your job, but you’re too scared to switch things up and get out. After all, it might well put your finances at risk. Perhaps your family and friends have expressed concern at your desire to change tracks. They might even say it’s some sort of age-related crisis.

But guess what? It’s perfectly normal for you to feel that way.

These days, it’s quite normal to have multiple careers. Few people stay at the same company for their entire working lives before retiring – things just don’t work that way anymore.

In fact, the average American employee stays in one position for just four to five years.

Adam Chaloeicheep is a case in point. Chaloeicheep was once creative director of a real estate development company in Chicago, but, burnt out, he left his job and headed off to Thailand to study meditation.

Eight months later he was back. His mind was clear. His passions for fashion, technology, entrepreneurship and brand strategy would now guide him. He went back to school to broaden his skill set and then started his own company, ABC Design Lab. Fulfillment and financial success followed soon after.

Yes, Chaloeicheep’s story is a little on the extreme side. But it’s indicative of a broader trend.

A recent Gallup poll showed that up to 90 percent of employees are either “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” from their jobs. It’s no great surprise, then, that people are on the lookout for new opportunities.

Crises that make you look elsewhere are in no way voluntary. But you can use that same outward-looking mentality to make a deliberate career shift in a new direction. It’s known as a career pivot, and to do it, you don’t even have to leave your current employer.

Let’s take Amy Schonberger as an example. She felt stuck as a senior creative strategist in a public relations firm, but she wasn’t ready to ditch just yet.

Rather than looking for new jobs, Schonberger started taking responsibility for social media and blogging. Her coworkers weren’t interested themselves. They felt working in social media would damage their reputations.

But Schonberger knew better, and before long, she found herself dealing with the company’s biggest clients. Her status as a social media expert soon led to her appointment to a new, official role: director of digital entertainment.

Pivoting isn’t something you do without planning though. Let’s look now at all the stages along the way.

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