Forced To Make A Career Pivot? Here’s How To Do It With Clarity And Confidence

Eufemia Didonato

Here’s how to approach a job search with clarity and confidence getty This pandemic has created quite a lot of job shifting. And, for many people, these changes have been sudden and unexpected. Few people love a career transition, especially when it wasn’t their choice and they weren’t prepared to […]

This pandemic has created quite a lot of job shifting. And, for many people, these changes have been sudden and unexpected.

Few people love a career transition, especially when it wasn’t their choice and they weren’t prepared to do it. The job search process is so loathsome that many choose to stay in situations that aren’t a great fit so they can avoid it. But it doesn’t have to be this way! I’d even go as far as saying that making a career change can be a journey you end up enjoying—and you may even love it.

I know. That sounds crazy, right? The reality is, though, that it’s all up to you. You can make your pivot and ensuing job search a more pleasurable experience if you are connected to yourself, you have a financial runway, and you can resist being at the whim of negative thoughts.

Here are four ways to shift your mindset from fearful and uncertain to confident and clear.

1. Know Your Zone Of Genius

One of the main reasons we lack confidence and clarity when looking for a new role is that we don’t know who we are or how to talk about ourselves. This can be partially attributed to the traditional way of job searching—molding yourself to the first decent opportunity you find so you can secure something new as quickly as possible. This approach practically guarantees ending up in a role that’s not right for you.

The modern way of job searching is the opposite. You start with knowing who you are, and you search with clarity to find opportunities are actually a good fit. To do this, identify your Genius (the type of thinking or problem solving you’re best at) and your Purpose (the impact on others or the world that’s most meaningful to you). These two data points will provide you with critical information about what you can bring to the table and about the roles that would be most fulfilling. When you find work that aligns with both, you’ve found your Zone of Genius.

The sooner you create language defining your Genius and Purpose, the easier it is to notice their presence or absence in a job opportunity. My clients who are in tune with their Zone of Genius don’t waste time going to interviews for positions that don’t fit well. Using your self-awareness to filter opportunities is far more enjoyable than just applying to anything you might be qualified for. 

2. Actively Resist Being Controlled By Your Fears

Just like with a pandemic, there’s a whole lot of uncertainty that comes along with a job search. You don’t know how long it’ll take, and you have no idea where you’ll land next. It can be scary, especially if you didn’t plan for it or if you haven’t done it in a while. But often, the fears you have (think: “No one will ever hire me” or “I’m not good enough for the jobs I really want”) aren’t grounded in reality. It’s important to be able to recognize when the actions you take (or don’t take) are motivated by something that scares you. You never want to miss out on a job, or accept the wrong one, due to fear.  

My client Kristie, for example, started working with me while she was in the midst of a job search. Her fears were causing her to crumble. She didn’t want to take “just any job.” Yet, whenever an opportunity presented itself, she would mold herself into what that role needed rather than sticking to her goal of being honest about who she was and getting the right job for her.

Together, we created an action plan for Kristie to follow when she became fearful. She would identify her concern and label it as real or false. If it was false, she’d let it go. Then, she’d go do something that would fuel her, such as meditating or walking, so she could release the fear through activity. This process allowed her to turn down three different job offers that just weren’t right for her. And when the right opportunity eventually emerged, she was so grateful she’d waited for it.

3. Prioritize Building Confidence

Failure is a part of every aspect of your life, but it’s especially present during a career transition when you’re constantly facing uncharted territory. That’s normal, and the best way to prepare for it is to build your confidence.

To start, become more aware of  your low-confidence moments. What triggers them? What patterns do you see? At the root of your Purpose is often a core emotional challenge, which is a significant emotional struggle you experienced as a child that now plays a major role in who you are as an adult. Identifying this will provide you with more information about those low-confidence moments.

For instance, my client Joe’s core emotional challenge was that he didn’t feel like anyone understood him. He was creative and a music lover, and his family was neither. Joe realized that  he felt the least confident when he was presenting ideas to people who weren’t creative. Their inability to recognize his creative brilliance made him feel inferior. 

I was able to help him to see that, in reality, it wasn’t that he was “less than” they were. It was that they just didn’t understand him, and this triggered his core emotional challenge.

This revelation was liberating to Joe. Moving forward, he stopped letting these types of moments get him down. Instead, he saw them for what they were—non-creative people not being able to understand him in the way he craved.

When Joe went through a career transition, this information was a godsend. He sought out companies that had a strong creative focus, and he prepared a list of questions that allowed him to assess whether or not they truly understood him. 

4. Have A Financial Cushion

This is an important final point. And before I dive in, I want to be clear that I understand that having a financial cushion is much easier for people who come from a place of privilege. With that said, it’s still also something you should try to do, no matter what your starting point is.

This will likely require you to be intentional about the amount of money you save each month and cut down on unnecessary spending.  This will be absolutely critical if you find yourself suddenly unemployed. Of course, you want to make sure you can still pay your bills, but if you have a good sum saved up, it will allow you to be more judicious as you look for your next job. Instead of having to take the very next thing that comes along so you can make ends meet, you can choose to pursue only the opportunities that will enable you to operate within your Zone of Genius. A financial cushion is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself during a career transition period.   

Even if you don’t have to look for a new job right now, I’d start implementing these four tips today. You simply never know what will happen. And if you find yourself unexpectedly unemployed, being prepared in these ways will make the search a lot less daunting.

Next Post

Inside Bill Armstrong's plan to build the Arizona Coyotes into a top contender

The first thing one notices about Bill Armstrong is the ring. The one with 282 diamonds and 51 sapphires, for a total weight of 10.6 carats. The one with the St. Louis Blues logo resting on the Stanley Cup, with each round of their 2019 championship journey etched inside the […]