3 Tips for a Successful Career Pivot

Posted March 17, 2014 by Jill Vived in Career Moves

I recently found myself at a career crossroads. My husband and I had owned our own business for the past five years, but we both realized the business was no longer fulfilling either of our passions. So after much contemplation, and some real soul searching, we both decided to carve out new career paths for ourselves.

Having done all of the online marketing efforts for our own business, I knew I wanted to stay the course and grow my skills in this area, but I knew that would require taking a step back in the short run, since my marketing experience was limited to what I taught myself working for our own small business.

So what’s an aspiring Career Girl to do, but take the bull by the horns and orchestrate the big “do over!” Now that I’ve made the change, here are a few tips I’d offer to fellow Career Girls making a career pivot.

#1 Accept that the short-term drawbacks will pay dividends, but it will take time.

The further along you are in your career, the more difficult it is to take a step back. You are accustomed to a) knowing your job and b) getting paid accordingly. But if you are making a career pivot, you will no longer be an expert at your job, you are going to have some learning to do. And the only way to learn and gain experience is to take the time to do so. So work hard, but also realize you will have to exercise patience in the process.

#2  Don’t let ego get in the way.

Starting over and working in the same capacity with colleagues with half (or less) the years of professional experience you have is a humbling proposition. But you have to check your ego at the door and get over it. Learn what you can from your all your colleagues, and you will quickly be on your path to renewed career success.

Remember, just because you must exercise humility does not mean your previous professional experience doesn’t come in to play. Skills such as dealing with clients and successfully interacting in an office setting is a universal skill so use the skills gleaned from your previous professional experience to help you succeed in your new role even quicker.

#3 Be patient.

This is something I must remind myself of daily. I want to excel quickly, but it takes time to learn a new skill set and to build trust with new colleagues and managers. So sit tight, do your job, do it well, and know that you will get recognized for a job well done in time. The waiting game can be painful at times, but trust and recognition can only be earned over time.

Starting over can be daunting, but don’t let fear of change hold you back from pursuing a long-term dream. Sure, you may have to take a hit in the short run, but learning new skills can be an exciting proposition of it’s own, and just may help you find that fulfillment that has been eluding you thus far in your career journey.

About the Author

Jill Vived

Jill Vived is a freelance writer and marketing communications professional currently working as the Director of Marketing for Vivalta, Inc., a recruiting firm specializing in placing finance and accounting professionals in Denver and San Francisco she co-owns with her husband. Working in the search industry has given Jill a distinct perspective on careers and job search that she is excited to share with Career Girls everywhere. When she is not reading up on everything marketing, branding, and career related, Jill spends her time chasing around her two young children, dreaming up DIY crafts, and enjoying the great outdoors.