Updated: Sep 21, 2022
The decision to make a career pivot is no easy feat. We are creatures of habit and change can be difficult when a successful outcome is not guaranteed.
As I write this article, I reflect on my career journey and the many career pivots that have gotten me to this point. At eight years old I knew that I wanted to be a lawyer, a corporate lawyer to be exact. I remember looking through my mom’s Essence magazine and seeing a lady in fancy business clothes sitting in her office. She was a corporate lawyer and made $85,000 a year. She looked like me and it was at that point that I decided that I would become a corporate lawyer when I grew up.
One of my first jobs out of college was as a temporary worker for a staffing company. My plan was to work until I got accepted into law school. My first placement was in the Human Resources department at a global pharmaceutical company. At that time, I had taken the law school admission test and was applying to law schools. I can’t recall the exact moment that it happened, but something shifted during my time on that assignment. I saw firsthand the impact of working with smart people who wanted to tackle challenging business problems. It was amazing to witness the vital role that a high performing team played in developing a product and taking it to market. Soon after that assignment ended, I decided to enter the human resources profession. Needless to say, my family was shocked (and a little disappointed) but that decision would be one of several pivots that have helped to define my career.
The decision to make a career pivot is no easy feat. We are creatures of habit and change can be difficult when a successful outcome is not guaranteed. Deciding to enter the human resources profession was scary but I knew that the work aligned with my purpose in helping people reach their fullest career potential. Making a career move entails having the courage to push through your fear with the belief that there’s something better on the other side. I’ve been fortunate to work at several innovative companies throughout my career. Before deciding to make a career move, I always take time to question my “why”. Why am I looking for a new opportunity? Why is the new role appealing? Why am I ready to leave my current role? If I’m able to provide a convincing answer for each “why”, I know that I can make the move and be at peace with the consequences.
By the time you read this post, I will have completed another major career pivot. Launching my consulting business has been the most frightening and exhilarating career move to date. I’ve known for quite some time that I wanted to be a business owner but would always put it off until the “right time” came along. One thing that I’ve learned along my career journey is that there is no “right time” to make a career move or start your own venture. Only you will know when to make the pivot. Take the time to question your “why” and make sure that you can be at peace with the consequences. There will always be fear and self-doubt. I encourage you to acknowledge the feeling and push through it. That’s the only way that you’re going to take the next step along your career journey. Trust me, there’s something better on the other side.