Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One

Y'all know how I feel about entrepreneurship and marketing. I firmly believe that price is no longer the primary motivator in our purchase decisions today, brands also need to deliver on brand promise, gut feel, and various levels of responsibility. As such, you also know that I am a strong believer in brands that do it “right.” Right is the secret sauce of marketing, it’s not a set recipe but rather a method for communication that garners a gut feeling so strong that people can’t help but notice.  We put our dollars where our heart is when a brand captivates us so completely that our technology-age attention span spends more than the customary six seconds experiencing a story. The same can be said when considering what brands to work for or with. Enter Pivot.

Pivot is Jenny Blake's answer to the call for something more. Whether you're career minded or an entrepreneur, there's something you can take away from her story and the Pivot method. She knows that the career ladder is a thing of the past, but few of us are equipped to understand how to navigate the frequent and necessary career changes of today’s business world. As she explains in the book, with the average employee tenure in America lasting just 4-5 years and roles constantly shifting within that timeframe, it’s important to reconsider the way we think about job transitions, professional goals, and personal growth.

In PIVOT: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One (Portfolio; 9/6/16), Jenny draws on her experience as a former career development program manager at Google, and that of other successful pivoters, to reveal how to think about career transitions not as big, uninformed leaps, but as a series of small, methodical steps to map what’s next, either within one’s current role, or to pivot in a new, related direction. Hitting a career plateau is not a problem, nor is it a crisis. You can and should leverage what is already working to strategically plan what’s next.

The book is structured around Jenny’s four-step Pivot Method that teaches anyone how to:

  • Double-down on existing strengths, interests, and experiences. Identify what is working best and where you want to end up, then bridge the gap between the two.
  • Find new opportunities and identify skills to develop without falling prey to analysis-paralysis and compare-and-despair.
  • Run small experiments, or pilots, to determine next steps.
  • Take smart risks to launch with confidence in a new direction. 

Pivoting empowers people of all ages and career stages to navigate changes with greater flexibility and strength. It is the crucial skill we need to stay agile, whether or not we are looking for a new position. As Jenny says, If change is the only constant, let’s get better at it.

I had the pleasure of meeting Jenny in November of 2015 during a session on the Pivot method. I've since read the advance copy of her book and I can say without a doubt that it's changed my life and my business, all for the better. It's worked my way into my Master's thesis, shaped the way I structure my goal setting and action plan exercises, and even shapes how I interact with you, my clients. If you're going to read a book this fall, it has to be Pivot.

Outside of her bookwriting (she's also the author of Life after College), Jenny is also a career and business strategist and international speaker. As we all work to grow our businesses and advance our entrepreneurial pursuits, I'd recommend that you check out Jenny's resources (both free and paid), as they all have strong implications for what we're trying to achieve!