Many times you reach what seems like a dead end at your job, you get frustrated, bored and almost disgusted. It may be because you have always desired a job that gives you more time with your family or simply because you have no passion for what you do. You may desire a job in a different industry, a side gig that you want to make full time, or you may dream of being your own boss. It may just be time for you to pivot.
Career pivot is an intentional, methodical process for navigating career changes. Pivoting usually involves a career change that spans across different industries but sometimes, a pivot may be so small that it’s even within an organisation. Internal pivoting is very beneficial when you are not quite ready to quit or move into a different career field. Such changes are very beneficial as they allow you to learn more about your organization while giving you the fresh start you desire.
Let me use myself as an example. Recently, I experienced a lot of frustration at work. I had worked in the legal field for many years and the work was becoming very mundane. Going to work was increasingly becoming a chore and I knew it was time to take action, so I began to look at other departments where I could function. Thankfully, I was given the opportunity to apply for redeployment and with encouragement from my supervisor, I found myself in the strategy development department. A lawyer in strategy? Yes! And I absolutely love it. I am learning about the balanced scorecard, innovation and how all the departments work together to fulfil the organisation’s mandate.
Here are 3 things that can help you when you want to pivot within an organisation.
Understand your organisation
Look at the departments and understand what each of them do. Ask questions and have a couple of options. This is important as you don’t want to end up in a place that you hate more than your previous role. Do your due diligence and understand where you would want to move to.
As a lawyer I was always placed in the legal team when I got jobs. While I am deeply proud of my training as a lawyer, I also knew I would want to explore other job roles. I started to prepare for this; I acquired two masters degrees, one in business administration and another one in public administration. I then began to obtain certificates in other areas of interest – parenting, finance, data, arbitration and communication. My learning increased my scope and made it easy for me to understand and gain appreciation for other roles.
Speak to your boss
If you desire a change, the first person to discuss this with is your supervisor. In my case, I spoke to mine and explained how I felt about my current role. I was lacking motivation and it had started affecting my performance. He understood and before I could even discuss my plans, he advised me to apply to other departments and even gave me suggestions based on my strengths. If I had applied without his knowledge, he may have felt bad and not given his blessings.
Whether you plan to pivot internally or externally, I hope it works out for your good.
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