Changing Up: A Practical Guide To Making A Pivot
Forward Ladies CEO Griselda Togobo shares advice for when you want to shift gear in your career. This is a Practical Guide To Making A Pivot
Changing your job, applying for promotion or launching a business are major decisions.
Before you jump, there are actions you can take to smooth your path.
KNOW WHAT YOU WANT
When I run business development programmes and ask people what they want, they tell me they’re deeply unhappy but they don’t always know what they’re trying to change. But unless you know this, it’s very difficult to have a successful pivot.
You need to be clear about exactly what is this new career or new life that you’re trying to pivot to. Once you gain that clarity, you’ll be ready to do it.
TEST YOUR THINKING
We can do a certain amount of reflection ourselves but for your thinking to be developed, so you’re not going round and round in circles, you need somebody to challenge your conclusions.
For example, if you want to quit your job but you’re afraid, you need somebody to ask why you feel that way. It really helps to take you out of your head and when you speak things out loud, they take on a different meaning.
Because your friends know you and they’ve seen you at your worst and best, you don’t always get the level of challenge or scrutiny you need from them. You either get too much criticism, because they think you’ll find it hard, or too much positive affirmation.
That’s why you need professional acquaintances, coaches or mentors. It helps if it’s someone who’s been on the journey. You can reach out to people in your network or connect with women on Forward Ladies.
REACH OUT TO RESEARCH
Next you need to share what you’re trying to achieve. You’re going out to the wider network in your industry to tell them that you’re looking for a job in this industry and ask what are the salaries, what are the conditions, who are the best people to work for?
For example, you’ve done the reflection and you feel you’re going to be great at sales, so you need to know who are the people in sales I should align myself with? When I moved to a new area, I didn’t know anyone and I went to my connections and said I’m new in town. They introduced me to a few people who I went to have coffee dates with. I still have some of those relationships.
This isn’t really about selling yourself, it’s about getting information and asking questions.
Once you’ve gathered all the information, I would draw up a list of actions which will take you to the next level.
Set short, medium and long term goals and ask yourself what action do I need to take? What applications do I need to be putting out there? What do I need to do, to secure the job?
Because of your research, you know how much people are paid and so you’re not going in blind and your pitch is more solid.
IT’S TIME TO LEAP
Once you’ve done all the groundwork, you need to take the leap.
You may have rigid ideas of what success will look like but be aware that when you start a journey, you never know how it’s going to go.
You have to be open to the fact that the route you take to the final destination might be a bit more scenic. It’s not a straight line and that’s why it’s important to have short term, medium-term and long term goals, otherwise, you start to cruise. I believe that life needs to be challenging for you to grow. If you’re not challenged every day, you get stuck and there’s no growth.
I ask people to set really big goals because that’s more about the future you want to have and the kind of person you want to become.
Surround yourself with as much support as you can for when you feel at your lowest. And remember to be kind to yourself.
Still don’t believe this is possible for you? Read the inspiring stories of Five Women Who Made A Career Pivot.
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ABOUT GRISELDA TOGOBO:
The Forward Ladies CEO, Griselda Togobo MPhil, ACA, is an international corporate consultant and trainer. She is also a multi-faceted entrepreneur, engineer and chartered accountant. She is a commercially focused business consultant but her experience as a black woman in the corporate world drives her. She now uses her international experience to help progressive global companies create inclusive workplaces. Griselda gives keynotes, talks and workshops to businesses interested in improving the gender and racial diversity of their teams.
Griselda is passionate about supporting female leaders through the professional women’s network forwardladies.com.
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