For years I always felt ashamed that I never really found my place in this world. Because of life choices I always felt I was a few steps behind everyone or completely on a different path. I’ve struggled, and persevered, and also pursued faulty business plans that plummeted me to new depths of financial despair. I’ve had to stop, gather my bearings, pivot and shift career paths more often that I would like to admit. This whole time I was hiding and ashamed that I hadn’t found my true calling. That at 40 I hadn’t found my dream job or wasn’t established in my career. But after deep reflection, I shifted once again. But this time not with an employment mishap or opportunity but I shifted the narrative. What I had done, unbeknownst to me was: I had mastered the art of the pivot.
Shifting the narrative allowed me to empower myself and see my struggles as opportunities for growth and acknowledge my chimerical supernatural ability to persevere and adapt. I have been a sous chef, a GED teacher’s aide, a barista, I sold the Oakland Tribune, bookkeeper, office manager for multiple companies, certified pharmacy technician, and most recently a prevailing wage specialist for a construction company. By not staying in one field I allowed myself to engage with others in vastly different industries and learn their problem-solving techniques. Picking up different skill sets whether it be via a webex session , a continuing education requirement, or by sheer osmosis has now become invaluable to me. The workflow disruption that caused my pivot has led to enhanced problem-solving competence, amplified social skills with the ability to adapt to diverse work environments. I’ve gained cognitive empathy while maintaining transparency. I’m an open book and always willing to share my path, my struggles and my wins.
Whether your pivoting in your twenties, thirties, forties or later, don’t view this transformation with shame.
Pivoting leads to learning opportunities.
- What can you learn by pivoting?
- What do you plan to take away from this experience?
- How can you align your past experiences in a way that will positively affect your new path?
- What special skill set do you possess that you can leverage to your advantage?
- How does being an outsider to the industry lead to innovation?
These are just a few of the questions you may ask yourself when you are in between a rock and a hard place so to speak. When pivoting is not just your only choice, its your best choice. Allow yourself to view the situation in a different lens. Shift the narrative and empower yourself to disrupt the negative and toxic self-talk that we are programmed to believe. Master the art of the pivot.