Just last week my husband forwarded me an email he received from Tyler Reagin, former President of Catalyst, author of The Life-Giving Leader, and certified leadership coach. In the email, Tyler shared that “after 7 years of full-time work at Catalyst” God has changed his assignment – not his calling. Tyler started the Life-Giving Company; a pathway for doing his own “leadership speaking, writing, consulting and coaching.” He shares the theme central to this change and I believe his words will resonate with you the way they did with me.
I believe many leaders have never learned how proper pivoting and timing of it can be a catalyst for growth and expansion. . .Learning how to pivot on the original idea or the direction that worked and was best for a long time into a new or “updated” version will be one of the greatest tools a leader can ever have. Sometimes it’s only a degree or two pivot that is needed, but often times, it’s 180 degrees. No matter how big or how small, the need to learn the art of the wee-timed and planned pivot will allow you to lead now and in light of tomorrow.
So, what about you? Is it time to pivot?
Whether you are entering the workforce for the first time or looking to make a change, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the possibilities. Choosing the right career path can feel a lot like finding a needle in a haystack or the elusive, perfect fitting glass slipper. And, if your options are guided by practicalities like finances, family, and geography, the starving artist path or those focused more on chasing dreams (rather than a bottom line) are simply not a viable option.
Here are a few truths important to hang onto:
- Most of us when choosing a job or a career are making a choice for a season, not one that will last a life time. Take the time to think about what you and your family need in this particular season and don’t be discouraged if the conclusion is right now an option with benefits wins out over that startup dream.
- There will be a lot of “good” options, and very few great ones. Be discerning as you evaluate your options and learn to let go of your expectations regarding the “perfect” career path.
- I’ve heard it said that rejection often equals His protection. I’ve lived long enough to see this born out. Don’t be defeated or discouraged by closed doors. Count them as blessings.
- Always put your best foot forward, but don’t go it alone. Whether it comes to soliciting your close friends, or other networks, don’t be afraid to ask others about any opportunities they might be aware of. Ask them to share about their own work environment. Ask them to review your materials or to refer you to someone who can. Tap into an alumni career center. There are a lot of resources out there, be willing to make the “ask,” over and over again.
- There’s nothing wrong with starting at the bottom. Most people don’t walk into jobs at the top of their industry. Rather, they work their way up, one step at a time. Most of us begin at the beginning; so don’t be afraid to start small.
Finding that Perfect Fit
Finding that perfect fit is less about them and more about you. How well do you know yourself? How well do you know your strengths and weakness? What types of activities do you find invigorating and what depletes you?
Being serious about finding the right fit requires a commitment to knowing and leading yourself well. It requires you understand what your personal and familial constraints are and that you clearly be able to articulate your priorities.
There are a couple of different assessments I highly recommend (and have invested in personally at my own cost). I receive no financial gain from sharing them – but do hope that one or both will help you to identify your strengths and next steps.
If you can invest in either or both of these assessments I ‘d highly recommend them. I’ve found both very informative in different ways.
- Gallup CliftonStrengths Assessment (formally known as Strength Finder) the costs range from $19.99 to $49.99; and
- iEQ9 Enneagram Assessment, the costs range from $60.00 – $120.00.
Finally, there is one more thing you need to do, and of all the tips and advice I share, it’s the most important one.
While it’s important to learn your self better, it’s even more important to spend time in prayer discerning the Heavenly Father’s will. There is not one greater bit of advice or direction I might give.
Here are some thoughts on how you might pray your way through a job search:
- Pray for His direction. What is His will, His plan for your life? Is He releasing you from your current role/position?
- Pray that He might see in your heart a desire to serve Him and His people, and that whatever you might do it, would be done in such a way that it would bring honor and glory to Him.
- Pray that He would create in you an obedient spirit.
- Pray that He would seal shut the doors He would not have your walk through and throw open wide the others.
- Pray for His protection and His direction.
What are you waiting for? It’s time to get started!