How to know if it’s time for a career pivot

17 September 2020
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You’ve settled into a job that seems to work for you and your goals. Until you changed your mind.

You are not alone. Staying in the same job for your whole career is no longer the norm. Changing university or training programmes, a role within your company or even the industry you work in is becoming more common in today’s transforming economy.

It is not always clear what the future of work will look like. But we do know that soft skills, adaptability and learnability will be the building blocks to ensure long term employability and career satisfaction.

For young people, exploring a variety of skills and paths now can help in the long term. There are also ways to strategically change direction and build on your journey. Here are a few tips on how to prepare for a career pivot:

Focus on soft skills

Developing soft skill abilities can have an immediate and long-term impact on any career. The soft skills employers want most are communication, collaboration and problem-solving. This means focusing on creativity, leadership and learnability will pay off no matter what field you ultimately find yourself working in.

Get frequent feedback

As much as we dread performance reviews, human feedback and communication help us become resilient and understand the ways in which we can improve. Others can see blind spots we don’t see in ourselves. Unsure if you’re on the right track or if you should reassess? Seek out help and feedback.

Ask more questions

‘I don’t know’ are three of the hardest words to say. It can be difficult to admit when you need help. But no one can understand everything. Use this to your advantage by asking questions on any topic where you may be unsure. If there is a different skill set you’d like to develop, or a different career opportunity you wish to pursue, seek out people with a higher level of relevant experience than you and ask for their insights, you might be surprised at how willing people are to share advice and assistance.

Changing your mind and pivoting doesn’t have to be a setback. By building your soft skills and gathering information from educated resources you can put yourself in a strong position to tackle new challenges and progress your career in new directions.