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NEW BOOK: How to pivot your way to a dream career

Updated: May 1, 2020

Jenny Blake's book PIVOT: The Only Move That Matters is Your Next One sheds light on what causes professionals to make so many job and career moves today. Hint, it's not just Millennials.

3 Big Trends Blake sees contributing to the new jobs landscape:

  • Globalization: what others are doing around the world is more visible to us, and we are competing in a global jobs marketplace.

  • Automaton and outsourcing: jobs are no longer as secure; companies downsize and continue operate in a more lean way moving forward.

  • Personal pursuit of meaning: we are more well off than ever before as a society, and yet no happier. We are seeking more meaning and impact in our jobs.

Blake is a huge believer in focusing on our strengths. We’re already bogged down by what isn’t working and what we don’t want, but by working from our strengths, interests, work experiences, connections, and by identifying what success looks like a year from now, we can much more effectively close the gap between where we are now and where we want to end up.

The Pivot Method methodically answers the question, “What’s next?”

  • Think like a basketball player: one foot stays firmly planted (grounding down in your strengths and existing career portfolio) while the other scans for opportunity (people, new skills, and projects that interest you).

  • Start passing the ball around the court, or piloting with small experiments, to test the waters of the new direction. One can repeat the Plant-Scan-Pilot process as many times as necessary to reduce risk and work their way forward.

  • Make a shot, or launch, in the new direction. Even if you don’t have a guarantee of success (who ever does?) the launch means you are now ready to go all-in on the new direction, knowing that you would regret not trying more than trying and not having things work out exactly as planned.

Blake's Top Three Pieces of Advice for Leaders:

  1. One pivot pitfall is stretching too far, ending up in one’s panic zone, paralyzed by fear. Instead, focus on small career experiments first that help you test the waters of a new direction. A strong experiment should test Three E’s: Enjoyment, Expertise, and Expansion.

  2. Don’t take your pivot personally, like there’s something wrong with you. Plateaus are a good thing! They signal you are ready for something new.

  3. Embrace fear, insecurity and uncertainty as the doorways of opportunity that they are. Build first, then your courage will follow (not the other way around). Just start taking small steps, rooted in your strengths.

More on Jenny Blake: Subscribe to the Pivot Podcast and follow her on Twitter. Read the full Forbes article on Blake's book here (opens in separate browser tab).

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