Career Pivot: Are You Ready?
By Raquel Campos
Sometimes you feel like the job you have been doing for over 10 years ( or even 1 year, depending on your generation) makes no sense anymore. You wake up every day feeling miserable and you don’t know what is wrong. Maybe the answer is much easier than you think.
Career pivoting is a courageous step to take in your professional life. Many people are afraid of taking this leap of faith when they only have one source of income and stability. Let’s look at some of the push and pull factors that can affect our decision.
The push and pull factors, we explore here, are the same variables used by a person when deciding to be an entrepreneur. Research suggests that the "pull" motivation is intrinsic and positive and the "push" motivation is extrinsic and negative.
In other words, someone influenced by “pull motivation” might have a desire to be self-employed, is looking for a more flexible schedule, wants a lifestyle change or even has the desire of increasing wealth (Birley and Westhead, 1994; Burke et al., 2002; Benzing and Chu, 2009). Someone that is influenced by “push motivation”, might have lost a job and found themselves in a situation where they need to be creative to be able to take care of their families (Brush, 1992; Loscocco, 1997; Curran and Blackburn, 2001; Moore and Buttner, 1997).
The reasons for your career pivot could be a push, pull, or even both. To make sense of your feelings and desires, you should understand what is truly motivating you to make a change. Without the self-awareness of your factors, there is a high likelihood of ending up in the same position again. Thereby creating continued strife in your life.
Career pivots can happen in many ways.
Same company, different position
Different company, Same industry, Same position
Different company, Different industry, Same position
Different company, Different industry, Different position
These are only some of the examples of career pivots. Even small changes in your career require significant self-introspection to provide you with the right data points to make the right decision to move for
The change you make in your pivot can only be decided by you. It is imperative to take the time to understand what type of work will excite and motivate you to engage with the work you will do. What are the push and pull factors that are influencing you to make a pivot? Other factors to consider are your own values, working styles, leadership skills, personality, etc.
As you make a career pivot should be strategic and rational. Take your time, weigh your options, talk to people, do your research. Career pivoting is not a sign of weakness, but courage.
Come join the Peppercorn Community to discuss what push and pull factors have affected your decisions for career pivoting.
Figuring out What's Next in your professional career can be daunting at any stage of your career. As the world around us changes at a faster pace, all individuals from students to executives need guidance on marketing themselves for the right next step. So, whether you are looking for a job, your next promotion or switching careers it's important to have a plan to achieve your goal.
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Benzing, C. and Chu, H.M. (2009) ‘A Comparison of the Motivations of Small Business Owners in Africa’. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 16(1), pp. 60–77. DOI: 10.1108/14626000910932881.
Birley, S. and Westhead, P. (1994) ‘A Taxonomy of Business Start-up Reasons and Their Impact on Firm Growth and Size’. Journal of Business Venturing, 9(1), pp. 7–31. DOI: 10.1016/0883-9026(94)90024-8.
Brush, C.G. (1992) ‘Research on Women Business Owners: Past Trends, a New Perspective and Future Directions’. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 16(4), pp. 5–30. DOI: 10.1177/104225879201600401.
Burke, A.E., FitzRoy, F.R. and Nolan, M.A. (2002) ‘Self-Employment Wealth and Job Creation: The Roles of Gender, Non-Pecuniary Motivation and Entrepreneurial Ability’. Small Business Economics, 19(3), pp. 255–270. DOI: 10.1023/A:1019698607772.