It’s called PIVOTING…

“Pivoting is an intentional, methodical process for nimbly navigating career changes.”

As a human capital strategist, I regularly come across people who have decided to switch careers. In the past years (Pre-Covid), people chose a particular profession and stuck with it until retirement. And we have seen many people still following that path in their career life. I admire them. But there’s an increasing number of people who have considered or have decided to PIVOT from their first choice in career to try something new. Especially in the light of covid-19 and the new normal.

For anyone considering career change, please keep this in mind: Be intentional. A pivot should make you feel a little uncomfortable, but you should always feel a sense of confidence in what you’re pursuing: marketable skills, new professional experience, or fulfilment…
I often ask my friends trying to make career change, “if you have to choose between PURPOSE and PROFIT, what would you do? …I’m asking you my reader the same question…
For some, the whole idea is predicated upon their plan to move to a new country or exploration of a new skill, but for others, it’s moving the skills they already have to a new sector.

Not really feeling your current job? Are you feeling stuck? Was your last job also tiring and soul consuming? Are you getting tired of asking yourself, “What’s next?” every few years?
If You feel disengaged in your day-to-day work, you lack the energy and enthusiasm to get your work done. If you dread waking up to go to your job in the morning. If you’re staying on a career path simply because of the pay, power, or title it offers…My friend, you’re a good candidate for career change.

Every now and then, you should conduct an inventory of your SKILLS and COMPETENCIES…During an interview with Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, Business Talent Group’s CEO, Jody Greenstone Miller, recommends something like a personal and professional audit: “You must understand your gaps. Ask yourself: What do I know? What skills and experiences do I have? What do I need for the next step? ‘You’re really doing an inventory,” Miller says”.

As a Human Resources professional for many years, some of my friends and clients are usually amazed when they find out I’m also a website developer, digital marketer, graphics designer, piano, and saxophone player… among other skills I’ve picked up over time…

A career pivot is not the same as a job search where you stay in the same role and industry. You know fewer people in the field, and fewer people know you. You don’t have the exact experience that will rival your competition. You don’t have insider expertise yet. So you already have disadvantages to overcome as a new comer. Help recruiters and employers help you by telling a coherent career story. Be prepared to answer questions about why you’re pivoting. Many more companies ask for work samples or assign cases to complete. You don’t have a track record in this area, so treat these assignments seriously.

Switching careers is a brave thing to do. It can affect your income negatively, you might have to take a pay cut, it might impact your working hours and even where you live. It’s not a decision you should take lightly, and it’s one that’s viewed differently by everyone. If you take a career break from your current career to travel or to study, do your uttermost best to convert that experience to show how valuable you are to your new employer.

Recruiters are looking for the right candidates for the job. If you have switched careers or taken a career break and want to sign on with an executive search firm, then it’s a good idea to make an appointment to go and see them. This will allow you to sit face-to-face with the consultant and explain why you took a year out, or why you decided to change from Accounting to Human Resources. Whatever your experience, you should be able to project your strengths and prove how your previous career is an added advantage. Do your best to illustrate how you will be instrumental in helping the business achieve its goals.

For example, if you spent your time volunteering with a religious Organisation or you were a key player in the planning and execution of a major ceremony or event, you will have gained great project management and planning skills than most people. If you were involved in a house construction project, you can illustrate how you managed to organize, planned, negotiated prices, handled multiple suppliers, got people to work together as a team to achieve a common goal. If you organize and articulate your experience correctly, you will be able to prove beyond any doubt that what you learned from your project can be applied in any situation.

It’s not whether you have changed careers that interests an executive search firm; it’s WHY, and WHAT you’ve learned that could benefit their clients. It could be that your career switch gives the client exactly what they’re looking for. It’s up to you to turn it into the positives that could win you your next job.

Leke Oshiyemi is the Lead Consultant/CEO @Rekrut Consulting Ltd. RC.1088540.
Career Influencer Award Winner 2020 (By The WorkBooth Magazine)
Cornell University, NY Alumni, Masters, UNILAG, Public Administration (Human Resources) BA, Philosophy, O.O.U. ACIPM, NITAD, HRMP – SHRM. Former Employee Engagement & Partnerships Mgr., HR Business Partner, HRM with Nigerian Breweries Plc, Consolidated Breweries Pls, Honeywell Flour Mills Plc respectively. Leke is a reputable HR Consultant, Trainer and Recruiter.

He has over 20 years of work experience spanning the Manufacturing, Services, and Technology sector of the Nigerian economy.

Leke is on a mission to help develop Africa’s human capital and help advance businesses. He also aims to help empower 10,000 people in the next 5 years to start, grow, scale profitable and successful careers or businesses using MARKETABLE SKILLS, channels, and strategies. He regularly publishes articles and speaks on Corporate Culture, Strategy, Capacity Development, Careers & Entrepreneurship.

Rekrut Consulting Limited (RC.1088540) Since 2012.
The Human Capital Development Company