by Dr. Cindy Briggs
Pivot! Pivot! Pivot! If you ever watched the show Friend’s you probably remember this famous expression when Ross was helping his friends move a couch up the stairs. He was frustrated getting them to move in the direction that would help make this process easier. He knew what needed to be done….
While this scene still brings a smile to my face, the concept of Pivoting has become much more relevant to me in recent months. I have been in a “pivot” for almost 6-months now. My pivot has included changes in my career path, and my personal life.
If you look up the definition of “pivot” one of the definitions is: a pin, point, or short shaft on the end of which something rests and turns, or upon and about which something rotates or oscillates. I am not sure if either of those fit this perfectly….but it’s good to know the definitions.
Recently we have been hearing about the Great Resignation in the workforce. It has been linked to the pandemic and that people have started to leave their positions because they no longer feel they fit within their lives. I think I am seeing this more as a Great Pivot. Yes, people are leaving their positions, but I see people taking time to reflect and see what is the next best move.
In December 2021, I decided to PIVOT. I had spent 20 years as a professor in higher education. It wasn’t time for me to retire, and I wasn’t walking away from all I had done– but I was ready to pivot. I was ready to take my education, experiences, family and desires and start looking at how they could be different…. and better.
Pivoting does not come easy. As you see with Ross, it takes some yelling at time. PIVOT! PIVOT! But I am not yelling at others (well sometimes I might want to) but I am yelling it at myself. It is OK to be different. It is OK to look for a new challenge. It is OK to want to take a path less traveled.
I have had others ask me how I knew this was the right decision, and how I finally did it. Well let me say this (in all authenticity) I didn’t know it was the right decision, but I knew it was right for me at the time. We need to start from the point that this might not work for everyone, but I want so share my thoughts.
WHEN SHOULD I PIVOT?
- If you are no longer being challenged in your current role/position. You start to have that feeling of not wanting to do it each day (not just one day…but day after day).
- If your health is being impacted. For me, stress was becoming more of the norm and my physical and mental health were not doing well. Blood pressure was going up. Weight was going up. Sleepless nights were becoming more common. I had to choose my health.
- When a dream is there…and doesn’t go away. I had a dream for a long time of doing a new career. It has parts of what I had done, but presented some new, exciting challenges. The dream just kept coming back to me.
STEPS TO PIVOT.
- Start out with a plan. Don’t say “one day” but give yourself an actual plan. Determine the when, and then set out on that path.
- Look for support. Some people will say you are crazy (yea, they will). Others will commend you for being brave– but will still think you are crazy! It’s fine. Not everyone needs to grasp your dream, but find your support. My husband has always been my biggest fan. I come up with these ideas and he is always there to support me and encourage me. Your fan may be a parent, or a friend, or an acquaintance. Whoever it is— lean on them when you need to.
- Remember this is your life– no one else is living it. Do your passion. Change your path. You are never too old, or too young, or not educated enough, or too educated. You are right where you are supposed to be right now… to PIVOT to your dream.
I talked about my PIVOT more on my podcast The Business Professor with Dr. Cindy Briggs. You can find that podcast here: https://thebusinessincubator.libsyn.com/pivot
Dr. Cindy Briggs is an entrepreneur, author, speaker, college professor, wife and mom. Her mission is to provide programs that can help entrepreneurs and communities thrive. To find out more, visit www.cindybriggsphd.com.