I was furiously looking for someone on LinkedIn and because there were so many people with the same name, I ended up reviewing quite a few profiles. One of those brought me to a complete halt.
Pivoting career as a choice
Our 60+ strong 100%Open Associate network keeps us very intimately glued to the joys and challenges of freelancing, running one-person micro businesses, and sometimes going between one of those and full-time jobs over time. We regularly pull together virtual, multi-discipline and multi-location teams for projects and I started my own 100%Open journey as an Associate, too. So we tend to really live the “change is constant” life.
Depending on your own experience you may not be so familiar with frequent job changes or freelance life. I think of it all as a life of constantly re-evaluating which hat should you be wearing with this client or that project. Over time you will have accumulated a rather impressive box of competencies (and tricks, admittedly) that you’ll be able to take forward to the next project, the next client, the next job. And so your career is permanently pivoting, even if not always purely guided by personal choice.
Back to my story
The LinkedIn woman I stopped for is a Full-Stack Developer. I follow and support many different collectives of #WomenInTech so I know very well that female Full-Stack Developers are a rare breed. I wanted to connect so I looked at her profile more closely. What I saw is a marvellous example of a modern day career pivot pre-COVID-19:
It isn’t the first time career pivots are happening!
Many people just now are living in a state of extreme uncertainty about their jobs and their future, and it’s affecting not just them but everyone around them. Yet here it was: proof that you can move from almost totally offline career to a totally digital one in one unexpected yet entirely logical step. Surely this means that other such steps are possible. Maybe from digital work to some manual craft, from consulting to nursing, who knows!
How do we support each other in finding our own next steps?
There is nothing quite like sharing stories like this to share hope and proof of change being not only possible but available to everyone no matter what your previous jobs were. Maybe you can offer to brainstorm with someone or offer mentorship to someone who is in the eye of the storm. Maybe just connect and say Hello. Make a start.
How do we support communities and organisations in finding their next steps?
Our upgraded Online Jams are now enabling our client organisations to explore and engage with new ideas quickly and deeply. In this weirdness we are living through there is no time to waste taking ideas to implementation and market. We are running demos on this if you are interested, just let Nicole know and she’ll schedule one for your team. Or maybe you know an organisation that could use one to turn things around? Please let them know about us.
My ask to you today
Could we also together find stories of business leaders who have re-directed their course in a similar manner to my new developer friend; unexpectedly yet entirely logically?
If you have any great examples, do share in the comments – I’d love to write a sequel!