April 30, 2020. By Jennifer Wolfsberg:
Anyone who has played or is a fan of basketball knows the power of the pivot. I was recently watching a classic basketball game (I’m missing live sports these days, but admittedly loving the ESPN throwbacks) and thought of the how the analogy of this move relates to those we work with now more than ever. Some professionals on the brink of retirement are reevaluating whether a part-time or consulting job might be more fitting, while others are questioning their professional passion now that the crisis has brought about a shift in perspective or family circumstances have dictated a need for change.
What do you do when you are presented with the opportunity, the need, or the desire to pursue a change in career paths? Lifestyle changes can become financial flashpoints. These include having a child or otherwise expanding your family, selling a family business, losing a loved one, going through a divorce, or receiving an unexpected inheritance to name a few. The circumstances might lead to a thirst for an industry or path that may be quite different than the business you ran for decades. You may be excited at the thought of exploring something new that channels a creative side previously ignored until now. It is normal and quite common that people’s interests shift over the years and change for a myriad of reasons. As excited as you are, you may also be nervous or apprehensive to share your ideas of change with others. It can be hard to separate our identities from our professions, and that can be hard for others too, but taking the plunge into something new can also be a breath of fresh air.
In speaking with Carol Agranat, a career coach with whom we have worked on behalf of several clients, she shared that this environment is spawning a new group of workers who are excited to tap their creativity. With technology as both a shield and a connector, anything is possible. We are seeing CEOs start online book chats for children, HR directors founding local philanthropic organizations, marketing professionals transitioning to virtual personal trainers, and so many in the service fields making their way to video conferencing platforms to share their wealth of knowledge in seminars, tutorials, and workshops that they never would have done before.
There are also those who unfortunately don’t have the benefit or choice to search out their passion, and are making a professional move out of necessity rather than desire. Their pivot may be forced due to the loss of a spouse, loss of household income, or a divorce launching them back into the workforce after years of managing a household and having mainly domestic responsibilities. If you find yourself in this predicament, you are not alone, and despite the darkness that may have brought about your circumstances, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and so many opportunities for you to apply your wealth of knowledge. Do not discount your years of hard work making your household run like a well-oiled machine.
Whatever brings you to this time in your life, just know there are resources available for mentorship and gaining new skillsets, even if this is required to be done virtually rather than in person. We recommend asking your trusted advisors and closest friends for their referrals, but here are some of our favorite resources:
- Udemy.com: A website offering a wide variety of online classes, many including certifications upon completion, in personal development, business, design, marketing, IT & software, and photography. Classes are reasonably priced and once on their mailing list, you will have access to frequent discount codes. Udemy also has an app to allow you to learn on your schedule.
- Career Mapping Solutions: A business led by Career Strategist and Career Coach Carol Agranat offering customized plans for expanding and leveraging networks, preparing and practicing for interviews, and defining and differentiating your professional brand. As a prime example of a pivot success story, a wealth of knowledge for professionals in a career transitions.
- Harvard Online Courses: Harvard online offers much more than business topics with courses ranging across cultural, personal, and professional interests all taught by those at the top of their fields. An added bonus if you act quickly is that in light of the Covid-19 crisis they are offering many courses free of charge.