Making a Career Pivot

Check out these quick and timely tips from GAA Career Coach Catherine Tuttle.

Making a Career Pivot

According to Prudential Financial’s Pulse of the American Worker survey, 1 in 4 workers is preparing to look for new opportunities now that the pandemic threat has subsided.

Why? The past year has highlighted the things people value most in their lives and their work and they no longer want to compromise. Burnout and career advancement are at the top of the list of reasons to pivot along with flexible schedules, and economic well-being (increased salary and better benefits).

Employees are looking for company cultures that reflect their values, but that can be hard to discern from verbiage on a company website, leaving many applicants weary of moving forward. Many are also suffering from application fatigue (63% according to a recent survey), exhausted from applying to hundreds of jobs with little employer response or feedback. In fact, almost 20% of the respondents had been searching for over a year.

So how do you go about maximizing your search efforts and increasing the likelihood that you’ll end up at the right company? I’ve included a few tips below to get you started. I’d also recommend checking out the Making Career Transitions webinar on the GAA site here.

Take time to reassess. Start to gather information about yourself by reviewing performance appraisals and getting feedback from friends/mentors.  What are you good at?  What are you recognized for?  And of those things, what do you most enjoy?  What are your favorite skills?  What are you naturally drawn to and interested in?  What is important to you about work?  Who do you enjoy working with and in what types of environments?  Understand what is important to you and use these key takeaways as a guiding star as you evaluate different options/opportunities.

Identify your options. Once you know what’s important to you going forward, you can start to narrow your options and identify new industries and functions that may be a good fit. You may want to start by focusing on and identifying an industry that is strong or emerging in your target area and perhaps has similarities to your current industry experience. If you’re unsure which industries to target, look for former colleagues who held a similar role to you and have moved on to other companies – what industries are they working in? What companies have accepted their previous experience? This can be a good place to start and help you get these ideas on paper in a concrete way.

Do your research, then get out from behind the computer. Obviously you can learn a lot online, but talking to people in the industries and roles you’re interested in is the best way to identify whether the industry or company are a good fit.  Often times there are major differences between what is listed online or in a job description and what a job or company culture are actually like. In addition to industry trends, projects they’re working on, opportunities and risks, ask about company culture, company leadership, and opportunities for growth.

When it comes to making a career pivot, the greater the change you’re looking to make, the more important your relationships become. The more people you talk to and the more you understand about your intended industry or function, the sooner you will land your next role.