Career Strategist and Executive Resume Writer at www.dreamlifeteam.com. Stunning, top-tier resumes that land offers in as little as 4 weeks.
Feeling the need to transition to a new career after age 40? You’re not alone.
While you can make a career change and leave one path to go on a completely different and divergent one, a career pivot is a bit less dramatic. In a career change, you’re often starting all over from scratch, whereas a career pivot is when you leave one path to join a parallel path.
To successfully execute a career pivot, you use the skills you already have and apply them to a new career. Leveraging a current skill set into a new career allows you to make rapid progress in a new area, which is much better than starting all over at the beginning.
The career pivot process is simple, but it takes much thought:
1. Discover related passions. “What do I love about my current career, and what other careers leverage those passions? What do I want to do next?”
2. Leverage related skill sets. “What skills do I enjoy using (and what skills am I great at), and what other career fields leverage those skills?”
3. Brainstorm how to put these together in a new career. Think about how to get employed or make money doing these things.
I’ll relay the steps I took to pivot to a new career.
I had a market research career and started my own business. I enjoyed aspects of what I did, but it was very isolating. I’d have an hour-long conversation with a client then scurry away in my home office designing surveys, drawing graphs and writing reports. I had a career but knew I needed to move on.
Step 1: What do you love about your career, and what do you dislike about your career?
I identified that my favorite part of my research work was the strategy portion: discovering what made products and companies unique and different and why people would want to buy them. I also loved when I could conduct in-depth interviews — talking to people, getting to know their “story.” I also loved writing reports. I disliked all of the alone time and wanted to interact more with others.
Step 2: What skill set do you have?
I had a strategic branding mindset. I was able to determine what made a product unique or different and why it would sell. I really liked conducting in-depth interviews and having long conversations with others. I was also really good at brainstorming new ideas. As a researcher, I was familiar with hundreds of job roles and industries with a strong business acumen. And, I really loved to write.
Step 3: What other careers would use your passion and skills?
With others, I put together skills and passions to identify new career areas for them. But I already knew I enjoyed resume writing and coaching. While running my research business, I started taking resume writing and career coaching courses on the side, as I enjoyed doing them and didn’t realize it could be a viable business. I thought I would just help friends with my training.