It is hard to believe we are halfway through 2020 (I’d like to request a do-over please!). We know now that many industries simply will not recover, or if they do it may be years before they are back to the employment levels they were pre-COVID, if at all. If you haven’t started yet, it is imperative that you get started working on your pivot ASAP.
The thought of pivoting has been on my mind since this pandemic blew up the world as we knew it back in March here in the USA. Just like you, my business went from hero to a grinding stop zero overnight. Coaching has slowed to a trickle so I am giving gratis webinars on stress and burnout (how timely since this is one of my niches), writing a ton, and continuing to preach self-care to anyone who will listen.
I am also an optimistic realist. (I know, contradiction)
As the many countries around the world (OK, here in the USA) rush to re-open in an attempt to save their economies, it is not with knowledge or experience. In my realist and scientific leaning mind I fear this rush will be at the expense of many many additional human lives lost and a further setback to the global economy.
Yes, I too have done the math and understand the economic impact of opening as quickly as possible. While neither side is wrong in their desires (saving lives vs economic impact), these are two conflicting priorities with neither being wholly right or wrong. We’ve not yet figured out a way to have both. We are in uncharted territory and have no way of knowing the right path to take. No way of guaranteeing outcomes.
FURTHER TO THIS
While outcomes for the future can only be speculated at this time, I do actually hope we do not return 100% to pre-pandemic values. That would be a very unfortunate missed opportunity for the world.
I hear those who adamantly believe we will be back to where we were in a couple of years. In every sense. Humans, they say, have short memories for painful times and all of this will leave no impact after some time passes. I’ll be really sad if this happens as I am not of this school of thought. It is my hope, at least on this point, I am on the right side of speculation. Again, I do not want things to fully go back to the way they were before. But I’ll save that for another rant since today we are here about a very important pivot you may need to start to work on….
ASK YOURSELF THESE QUESTIONS:
Were you really 100% OK with the way things were in your world before all this?
What would you mind not returning to or having back?
What was working well for you before all this and what wasn’t?
What are the chances of your position coming back in the next few months? And do you want to go back to it?
What is the real worldwide contraction of your industry?
Now ask yourself, what’s your pivot going to be?
There’s no easy answer to any of these questions but there are ways you can start to figure this out.
As the weeks go by and I gain more clarity on what I think the future will look like, the need to pivot has become clearer. Read on for five resources to get you started on your pivot.
EXECUTIVE SEARCH FIRM OR HEADHUNTER
Executive search firms and headhunters are synonymous terms but there are differences in what markets they serve so do your research. For instance, a sector (financial, tech, hospitality, etc.), function (meaning position such as HR, CFO, etc), geography, or Board positions (CEO and Non-Executive Directors). While I am not an expert in this field, I’m fortunate to be affiliated with Anthony Harling, Founder / Director of career management platform Not Actively Looking (with a 30-year career in executive search) who has been very generous educating me for this article. He had this to share which I felt was important to convey to anyone looking to pivot:
“We are (have been for a while actually…) in the era of multiple careers. The idea of a single career was maybe relevant in the 1970s. Not any more. Everybody needs to start thinking in terms of multiple careers. You need to pick the right time to pivot – and a time such as this might be just the right time! This makes it really important to take time out, invest in a coach to help you, and think about what career 2.0 (or 3.0) is going to be and how you’re going to get there. Absolutely vital at a time like this to be prepared! “
LEARN A NEW SKILL
There are so many industries we know will not return to pre-COVID-19 levels for several years, if at all. NOW is the time to learn a new skill. Me? I am taking an ethics EQ coaching class. And I enrolled in a Brene Brown Dare to Lead retreat so I can continue to up my coaching quality and incorporate these new skills into my coaching practice (I’m all about soft people skills and EQ!)
It is tempting to focus your learning on a lifestyle skill (and you should if this is where your passion is) like spinning pottery, playing the ukulele, or upping your culinary game. However, if you are not planning on using this new skill to replace your lost income you will want to also add a more transferable skill to your learning.
Consider industries you were always curious about but never explored. Something you ‘used’ to love to do but you just happened to go a different direction in your career. Again, this is a great time to take a look back at what you used to want to do and give it another look as a career.
Coaching is an amazing way to bring forth ideas you have that you just have not tapped into yet. A coach will not tell you what to do, but they will journey with you and ask powerful questions along the way to get you to come up with your own answers and ideas. A coach will always challenge you to move your ideas forward towards where you want to go.
Full disclosure even I am getting coaching through all this.
Do you think I’d be able to write as much as I do or continue to preach my message about stress and burnout without the support of a coach? That is a big Hell No. And working with her I have discovered what my pivot will be (can’t tell you yet what it is yet) and I’ve begun laying down the groundwork. Coaching is highly impactful and effective in moving one’s life forward when one is motivated and engaged in the process.
This absolutely ties into learning a new skill. When we were all sent home to shelter, companies and schools around the world began to offer distance learning for free. As an example, Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton FL offered their hospitality certification free to anyone in the industry who had been laid off. The offer went completely viral and nearly 80,000 laid off and furloughed hospitality professionals signed up to take it from around the world.
I know the director of this program personally as I’ve spoken to his students in years past when I was a hospitality executive. Seeing post after post after post on LinkedIn as these hospitality professionals around the world thanking the university blew me away! I am sure he was too. Who would have thunk?
You can see the interview about this amazing give to hospitality by watching this nationally televised news report in this link: FAU offers free College of Business Certificate in Hospitality to nearly 80,000
My point is, now is an excellent time to work on your certifications. While you are learning a new skill, taking the extra step to get certified will help you in your pivot.
Me? My coaching certification is up for renewal at the end of this year and I am working on my CEUs whenever I can. My stretch goal is to earn PCC in 2 years however this is directly tied to the number of clients I work with on a monthly basis so this whole pandemic may throw me off target. While neither of these certifications are part of my pivot, I am working on both my certifications and my pivot daily.
I’ve got you covered with a DIY option too. Here’s a link to a FREE self-directed White Board Exercise I use with all my clients who are in transition. This is the exercise I personally developed and did myself, which helped me to transition from corporate executive to executive coach. In case you skimmed over that last link, this is FREE and by all means none of us should be passing up anything free right now.
Yes, it’s a really crappy time for a lot of people right now. Do all you can to make the best of a bad situation by figuring out what your pivot is. The entire world is pivoting. You will need to as well.
No, it won’t come to you overnight, but the right conversation with the right person just may give birth to the next big idea – and it could be inside you already! A reminder that out of the last recession we birthed: Credit Karma, WhatsApp, Venmo, Groupon, Instagram, Uber, Pinterest, Slack, Square…you get the point.
Now start working on finding your pivot. Let’s brainstorm together. Here’s three to get you started thinking about: technology, micro-businesses, solar. Your turn. Give me three back. Need more? Let’s chat.
Hi, I’m Rachelle Stone. I was a 25+ year veteran of the Meeting & Convention Industry who, in 2014, left to transition to full time Consulting & Coaching after my own professional implosion (yes, I burned out!). I now guide stressed-out high performers, business owners, and senior leaders through the strategic steps needed to break through plateaus and ceilings, accelerate their growth, increase profits, and reach their goals WITHOUT burning out.
BEFORE YOU GO
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Are you a high performer that can’t say no and are fearing burnout? I love to coach high performers through the process of learning how to set boundaries and navigate the challenges of being a high achiever WITHOUT burning out. Coaching provides you with an outside perspective, someone to hold you accountable to your goals and get you to the finish line quicker all while advocating for you to succeed. Let’s chat for 30 minutes on my dime and see if we are a match to work together on your journey.
And if you (or someone you know & love) are anything like I was and would rather be more like what I have become – someone who wants to do great things in your career while still loving your life – I invite you to hop on over to my website and take a look around. There’s a cool and quick assessment you can pick up for FREE which will help you determine your current state of capacity and balance right on the home page. Then let’s stay in touch!