Life, they say, is a constantly changing process. We are always evolving and learning different things, developing new interests and finding out more about ourselves. Because of this process of constant change, it’s possible to find that we look to redefine ourselves and our path at some point.
For example, if you used to love your work but no longer find it satisfying, you may find yourself being called in a new direction. I have worked with individuals who got their “dream job” right out of college but at age forty or forty-five find it less than fulfilling.
Professionally, this process of redefining what you do and changing the direction you move in is known as pivoting. While pivoting and redefining life direction may sound straightforward, they can require a lot of soul searching and planning. Before jumping into these concepts, however, you need to first identify if pivoting in a new direction is really what you need and want to do.
Redefining your life and career can be a monumental step and one to be approached thoughtfully. Changing professional direction may sound exciting but can also come with a certain amount of risk and uncertainty and needs to be considered thoughtfully prior to making the decision. Before anything, it is essential to have a strong ‘why’ behind it. Without a strong ‘why’ it will be difficult to keep going in the face of challenges. The following ideas are food for thought.
- You are tired of what you do.
Being tired of your work is one of the main reasons behind pivoting. After many years of doing the same work day in and day out, work can begin to feel like a treadmill, where you keep going but don’t feel like you are getting anywhere. Feeling a lack of meaning in one’s work can be a strong motivator to think about doing something different.
A plus is that doing work that we find fulfilling can lead to greater well-being, productivity and success.
- You want to explore other fields.
There are some individuals that just don’t want to stay in the same field for the whole of their lives. If you think this may be you, then exploring other fields might be your reason for pivoting, however, it’s crucial to perform a risk-benefit analysis before you take steps to move forward.
- You have found something more fulfilling.
There can be points in life where people find things that they want to do just for the sake of doing them and they are not as concerned about monetary rewards. For example, a business professional that decides to become a teacher because they love working with and helping young people grow.
1- Creating Clarity.
It’s essential to have a sense of clarity when pivoting and choosing a new direction. Do your due diligence, talk to people who have taken a similar path, research what it will take, assess your resources, and supports. Learn as much as you can about your new path. Having clarity will help you with confidence and belief in yourself, both of which are essential when starting something new.
2- Create a Plan.
What actions do you need to take to bring your goal to life? Will you need additional education and what will that look like? What about finances? Other resources? Will you continue in your current work as you build towards your new future?
3- Identify action steps you will need to take.
Depending on your objective, pivoting in a new direction can take many forms and timeframes. Having a well-thought-out plan in place is essential. Know that it won’t necessarily be easy, that you will likely encounter challenges along the way. Take it step by step. As you do, remember – each step is bringing you closer to your goal.