July 13, 2022

How to Make a Career Pivot

I'm Melissa
I'm a Career and Leadership Coach for Women in Pharma/Biotech. I've been where you are, and I help you create the career you want without working more hours or settling for good enough.
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If you listened to last week’s episode on signs you need a career change and realized you do or maybe you’re between a couple choices right now and aren’t sure what to do – this episode is for you.

I’m breaking down how to make a pivot in your career (Friends anyone?! 😉

The steps I share apply to you regardless of the level you’re at.

You will know how to make the pivot into the career you want with success, no matter what.

What You’ll Learn

How to know if you need a career pivot

4 “how to” steps to make the change you want

How to overcome obstacles as you make the pivot in your career

Featured in This Episode

Register for the new training: Decide Your Next Career Move

Learn more about Career Path Navigator (opening July 17th)

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Welcome to Navigating Your Career, the only podcast that blends personal development, professional skills and psychology to help you get happy at work and live the life you want. If you want to stop feeling stuck and start are feeling better, this is the place for you. I’m your host, Melissa Lawrence. Let’s get started.

Hello and welcome to this week’s episode of the podcast. Now, I thought it would be fun for us to talk about pivoting and making career pivots, which every time I hear that word, I think of the Friends episode with Ross moving the couch on the stairs. I don’t know if you saw that where it’s like pivot. Okay, usually every time I hear that word, I think of that. But here we are.

So last week was a rerelease of an older episode with signs that you’re ready for a career change. And so you might be thinking, if you listen to that episode, okay, I definitely need a career change. So now what do I do? Or how can I make a pivot in my career when I’ve already established some success? So that is what we’re going to talk about today.

And the very first thing that you want to know is when you’re looking to make a pivot. I always say this. I feel like I say this ten times a day, but you want to make sure that you know what move you want to make, because I see so many people make a career change and treat it like a bandaid and you know what I’m talking about. Like, if you’ve been really unhappy for a long time and then you decide that you want to make a change, but now you’re ready, right? I’ve heard this so many times.

You don’t want to wait, you don’t want to see what your best move would be. You don’t want to spend a few weeks just figuring that out and getting some clarity on it because you’ve been unhappy for a while and it took you a while to maybe get to the decision to make the change. So now that you have, you want to just let go. But when you do that, you end up just finding yourself unhappy again after that honeymoon period of your new job ends. So instead, know what you want first.

And so I’m not going to focus a ton on this first thing and tell you how to do this. I have some other podcast episodes on it, but instead, I do have a training coming up that I’m actually going to help you make a decision on what your next best move is. And that’s going to be July 16 to 17th. It’s a two part video training. Each video is about 20 minutes and it includes a workbook, so you can apply what you learn.

And essentially, if you don’t know what you want or you don’t know what decision to make, maybe you’re going between a couple of options. You want to add your name and email so I can send this to you. It’s already recorded so you can watch it at your convenience that weekend. And it’s really just going to break down the steps and the skills. And I’m also going to be teaching you some mindset adjustments that you can make so that you can really feel confident about the decision for the Pivot you want to make in your career or the decision for the next step you want to make in your career.

So all you have to do is go to my website at www.melissamlawrence.com/training and sign up so I know to send it to you. And if you’re thinking, okay, Melissa, this free training sounds great. Maybe you’ve attended some of them before, but you really want to dig deeper into this. You want to really commit and focus energy and time on knowing your move is the best move.

If you want my help with that, then I want you to mark your calendars because July 17 is the beginning of enrollment for Career Path Navigator. So the enrollment period is going to be one week only, July 17 to the 25th. And what you’re going to do is over six months, you work directly with me to identify your next best career move and what will truly make you happy and allow you to have the impact that you want to make and then actually get into that role. So you have me and my process every step of the way, and you can learn more about that also at my website. So I’ll include those links to both the free training that is going to walk you through the steps to follow and then also if you want to learn more about Career Path Navigator.

Okay, so to make a Pivot, what you need to do is, number one, just recap, know what you want. And I just gave you a couple of options to figure that out. If you don’t know. Now, number two is, let’s say you know what you want. Now, it’s time to actually make it happen.

And the first thing to do is to sit down and do a gap analysis from where you are now to where you want to be. So do you already have the skills? Do you already have connections with the company or group you want to move to? Are there any areas that you need to develop in? The answers to these questions will tell you if you’re ready for the move now or if you need to do some more work.

So step one is to know what you want. Step two is to gap assess where you are now to where you want to be. And then step three to making a career Pivot is to prepare for change. And this is where I’m going to spend a lot of time today. So this step is often overlooked.

So I want to make sure that you really understand this piece and why it’s important. So you might know what you want and then just go and get it right. You might figure out the next step you want to take. Look for jobs that are open, apply to those jobs and just try to make it work. Hope it all works out.

But whenever you go to make a change, our brain is going to get uncomfortable, it’s going to start freaking out and offering obstacles for us to overcome and sometimes we don’t even know what’s happening. So this is legit happening to you, but it may show up in ways that are very sneaky and don’t really seem like this is what’s going on. So things that could come up is maybe you suddenly think it’s not the right time, maybe you should wait until after the summer, it’s too busy right now. Maybe you’re recovering from covet, right? There’s all these things that could come up that could be very logical reasons for why you shouldn’t take the action and do what it is that you want to do.

And these little thoughts can creep in. Or maybe you start applying but you don’t actually give it your all. You start getting lazy with your answers on the application. This can be another way that your brain is actually self sabotaging you. Or maybe you start coming up with a bunch of other life changes you need to do at the same time, which kind of sneakily creates overwhelm so that you can have the experience of this being hard.

Now that one is kind of an advanced way that your brain works and that it can create problems that seem real, that you don’t even know that you’re creating for yourself. So that you can keep recreating the experience that you’ve had earlier in your life of certain things being hard. And so even if something doesn’t need to be hard, it can be difficult for you to actually let things be easy. And so you could maybe turn away help or turn away a process that would make it easier for you. Or turn away just following the step that you had decided for yourself and instead create a lot of extra things to do because then that is creating that experience of it being hard.

So there are so many scenarios where your brain can actually create obstacles to actually making the change that you want to make, but it can seem like that’s not really happening. But this is all an effort to stop you from making change because change for your brain is discomfort into your brain that can feel unsafe. So maybe your current job starts looking really good. You start questioning why you wanted to leave to begin with. I know I was on that rollercoaster ride for a long time before I left my job.

All of these things seem very logical, they seem very true, very factual, but oftentimes they are just your brain trying to keep you in your comfort zone. That’s trying to prevent you from disrupting your routine. So you’re preparing for the change by acknowledging and even expecting for your brain to freak out a bit, because also your brain likes to tell, you know, and we think we’re the ones making that decision consciously, but it really is a lot of the time, your subconscious thinking that is presenting as facts to discourage you from making changes that you want to make. So I recently shared an experience this is a little bit of a pivot, but I recently shared an experience on my Instagram about when this had happened to me, about something unrelated to my career. So I had bought my first designer bag.

It was a Louis Vuitton when my wife and I went to New York City for our anniversary recently, and I have wanted a Louis Vuitton for over ten years, and I never let myself have it. Then here I was with an opportunity to give this to myself, and I couldn’t do it. I was coming up with all of the reasons that this was unnecessary. My wife was telling me that I deserve it, that it’s okay. And I was like, No, I’m not that person.

What will people think? There are people who could use this money, right? Full meltdown. We went to the store. We left.

We went back. I went to a second store. I labored over it, and ultimately, I did purchase it. And I love it, and I haven’t even used it yet. It’s in my closet.

But knowing that I gave that to myself, that it was something that I really wanted, that I worked hard to have the money to be able to afford for myself, that I was allocating money, that, yes, of course, there’s always something more reasonable or logical. There’s always a new water heater you can buy for your home, right? There’s always something. But this was so rewarding to me. But what was going on is that for the 24 hours period as I had my inner little girl who never had enough money, screaming, telling me it wasn’t safe to do this, it was like a form of imposter syndrome, which you all know how I feel about that term, but I use that because I know a lot of you know what that means.

So that’ll resonate with you when I say it, so you can read that whole story. Over on my Instagram, I kind of broke down exactly what had happened. But in that situation, it’s not as though I was conscious of this at the time that I was thinking, this is my inner little girl. I was not thinking that at all. I had to actually coach myself and work it through to really ask myself why I was saying no to something that I wanted.

Because, of course, the first things that came to mind were all of the logical things like the amount of money and is that responsible? And all of these other things were coming to mind first, other than really getting into why I was saying no. I had to look at it from a very neutral place, as in, this is something that I want. I have the money for this if I choose to use it. Do I want to use it for this?

Right? Can I trust myself to make this financial decision and not become someone that spends a bajillion dollars on Louis Vuitton bags and goes into debt and becomes homeless down the road? Right? Of course, your brain can make up all sorts of scenarios, so you can read all of that detail on Instagram. But I share this with you because this is just normal brain behavior.

And when your brain tells you no, it’s important to ask yourself why. So I did that. I was able to coach myself to where all of those logical reasons were really coming from and then make a decision with all of the information because of neutralizing the emotion that my brain was offering me. Now, another thing to note is I often refer to your thoughts as your brain. Almost like a separate identity or like a little person on your shoulder.

And I do that intentionally because the truth is, we are run by our subconscious. We’re only conscious of a very small percentage of our actual thoughts, but our brain keeps score. I think there’s even a book called Your Body Keeps the Score. And so your brain knows everything that we have endured, the good, the bad. It knows things that we don’t even remember, especially if you’ve experienced any sort of trauma in your life.

Your brain can put things away for you to protect you because they’re painful to remember. But your brain is actually calling the shots. So your conscious mind makes the decision to get a new job, to invest in yourself. But why? The beliefs behind your decision, a lot of those are buried, and they show up in very logical ways that are actually hurting you.

Like, other people aren’t doing this, or, what if I fail? Or I don’t need this, or this isn’t for people like me, or I can figure this out on my own. But if you really want something, don’t listen to that, because I want you to know that those thoughts are normal. And also they’re there to keep you stuck. It’s normal brain behavior to keep you right where you are, to keep you small, and to keep you reliving your past and to keep you safe.

Even if there isn’t any real danger, your brain has a hard time deciphering that. So even if something isn’t good for you, your brain will keep you in that same pattern and make it seem like it’s the right decision. So when you want to know what your next best career move should be, when you want to make a career change. When you want to get to your next level, when you want to change jobs or industries, prepare for this mind drama. Because there is a difference between knowing what you want and actually making it happen.

That is why my Career Path Navigator program is structured the way that it is. It’s why my one on one coaching is structured the way that it is. They are set up to guarantee your results, for you to not only get the results that you know you want, but also the results that I know you need so that you can have long lasting and sustainable success. I am an objective observer and experts, not only in the way that your brain works, but in what you need to do in order to be successful in your career. And I want you to become unstoppable.

So any pivot that you want to make, I want you to look at it as, yes, this might be hard, but I’ve got this. I don’t see other people doing this, but that’s okay, I know what I want. Because when you do that, you start to look at yourself differently, you look at your possibilities differently, the way you feel is different. And on top of that, you get those tangible career results, whether it’s a better job, being better paid, working less hours, making the impacts that you want to. OK, so preparing for the change.

That is number three on the list of how to make a career pivot. Then the last tip that I’ll leave you with for making that career pivot is to make a plan. Consider what actions you need to take the network that you want to engage with and evaluate along the way so that you know what’s working and what’s not. This will also help you with that pesky brain. Now, one of the best things you can do is take your thoughts out of your head and get them on paper.

When they stay in our heads, it can get very confusing and overwhelming, and we don’t see things as clearly. So get it out and evaluate. Now, let’s recap. Number one, know what you want. Number two, do a gap assessment.

Number three, prepare for the change. Number four, make an action plan. All right, that’s all for this week’s episode. I will talk to you next week. And remember, the free training decide your next move is happening July 16 and 17th, and Career Path Navigator enrollment is July 17 to the 25th.

The links will be in the show notes. Have an amazing week.

Thank you so much for listening to today’s episode. I truly hope you enjoyed it. If this episode resonated with you or helped you in any way, please share it on your social media and tag me. I love seeing what you’re up to. Also, please make sure to subscribe and leave a review.

And until next time, have fun navigating your career knowing the life you want is totally possible.

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No longer settles for “good enough”

Hi, I’m Melissa.

Career & Leadership Coach for Women in Pharma/Biotech

I'm a former Talent & Development leader in Pharma/Biotech turned CEO and Certified Professional Career & Life Coach. I also host the podcast, Your Worthy Career.

I've been where you are, and I help you create the career you want without working more hours or settling for good enough.

I'm leading a movement of women in the industry who are figuring out exactly what they want and shattering the glass ceiling. The very real ceiling in the industry, but also the one that we impose on ourselves. 

So long, imposter syndrome and overthinking. It's time to step into the impact and life you're worthy of having.

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