The Pivot Method

Or how to make career decisions standing on one foot

I regularly listen to Jonathan Field’s Good Life podcast and Jenny Blake was one of his recent guests. She detailed her struggles with changing jobs and careers after she had supposedly “made it”. Who in their right mind would leave a “dream job” at Google to become self-employed? A Passion Weaver, that’s who. Someone who wants to constantly grow and change, never plateau.

It was interesting to hear how wracked with guilt she was and filled with doubt that she had done the wrong thing, especially when her bank account dwindled to zero.

She equates leaving Google with dumping Brad Pitt. How would be possible to ever do any better in the eyes of her peers?

Well you can imagine she wouldn’t be on the Good Life podcast if that was the end of the story. Jenny managed to craft a passionate, successful life based on something she calls the pivot method. She has recently published a book about it called Pivot, where she outlines four stages for career pivoting.

Jenny argues that the “job for life” model is gone and 3 – 5 years is the average time we spend in a role these days before changing jobs completely.

Rather than beating ourselves up about it, or making massive scary changes, Jenny argues that we can decide our next step the way a basketballer pivots around the court looking for the best option.

She suggests we keep one foot firmly on the ground, whilst pivoting around and seeking the best option with the other foot. We do this by doubling down on what we are good at.

I took the quiz on her website and it turns out I’m a “measured pivoter” and the description sounded entirely accurate.

If you’re bored and looking for a change, maybe a career pivot is in order? Don’t throw in the towel completely, look instead at what you are best at, or what you enjoy, and find ways to double down on those first. Then identify any new skills you need to develop, run small experiments determine the next steps and then maybe read her book? Something I intend to do very soon.