Time for a Career Pivot?

7 Things to Consider When Shifting Careers

by Shayla Hilton

Have you been considering a career pivot? Not just changing jobs where you continue to do the same tasks within another company, but a major pivot into a new industry or a move from a traditional job into entrepreneurship. Those career pivots can feel risky and irresponsible. However, there are times when a leap of faith into the unknown may be your next step.

In 2016, my career was unfolding nicely, and I was catching my stride working in the school system. By that time, I had been in the field of education for 9 years. I taught in the classroom, trained and supported other teachers and my next logical step was to become an Assistant Principal. In fact, I even had an Assistant Principal interview coming up. I just was not content with the career path that I was on. I still felt unsettled like a big change was supposed to happen.

Around that same time, an opportunity was created at the church I was attending, and I was asked to come and join the staff. I had to decide if I was willing to walk away from my life-long plan and career in education. I had to decide if I was willing to make a huge pivot from the predictable path into the unknown. It was very scary, but I took the leap. I politely and professionally declined my Assistant Principal interview, submitted my resignation, and began working in full-time ministry.

There have been many additional twists and turns since that day and I have made a few other career pivots. After working at the church, I began working in adult education and just a few weeks ago, I knew my time there had come to an end as well. I have learned some very important lessons because of my career pivots, and I would like to share 7 things for your consideration before you make any major career changes.

  1. Pray About It- Before making any major changes in life, it is always best to seek God in prayer first. Ask the Lord for clarity and direction before you do anything. If you do not feel like you have clearly heard from God, wait before moving forward. If you receive a yes from God or experience His peace on the matter, then it is time to proceed.
  2. Do Some Research- What do you know about the new industry or field that you plan to enter into? Do you have any experience there? Do you have trusted people that can share some insight with you? Take the time to do as much research as possible so you can be adequately prepared.
  3. Create a Plan- Everything starts with a great plan. You may have to change the plan along the way, but a plan will keep you on track. How long will it take you to make this career pivot? Can this happen within 2 weeks, 30 days, or 3 months? What are the actionable steps that you must take?
  4. Count Up the Cost- Will you need to save up before taking this leap? Do you already have savings that you feel comfortable with? What is your plan if an emergency happens? Do you have anything that could act as a ‘cushion’ until you get settled and start making new income?
  5. Discuss It with Those Involved- If you have a spouse or share a living space with family/friends, then it is best to discuss your possible career pivot with them before you make any major decisions. Ultimately, your career pivot will affect them as well so you want to be considerate and let them know what you are thinking. In addition, a spouse or family member (who you included in the discussion) may be more willing to provide some financial support if things get tight while you transition.
  6. Silence the Fear- If you have indeed heard from the Lord and He is leading you to step out and pivot the enemy will try to paralyze you with fear. You will begin to doubt your decision and wonder if what you heard was correct. Trust that God is leading you, silence the fear, and keep forging ahead.
  7. Take the Leap- Once you have carefully considered these 7 things and implemented the ones that apply to you and your situation there is nothing left to do but TAKE THE LEAP! It will be scary, you will second-guess your decision (and yourself) but do not turn back because of fear. You may even have to pivot again and again, but have faith in God and trust that you are doing your part to prepare. It will all work out in the end.

QUESTION: Have you ever made a career pivot? Are you currently considering a career pivot? Tell us about it in the comments.

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Lakeisha Johnson April 10, 2023 - 11:34 am

Shayla, this is so refreshing and informative to read thank you. I just made a career pivot!🙌🏾 God is amazing, just in time! I love this!! ❤️

Shayla Hilton April 10, 2023 - 12:59 pm

Wow! I’m so glad to hear that. I’m praying that this pivot is a smooth transition that ushers in your next level blessing!

My Journey to Refresh April 10, 2023 - 5:42 pm

Shayla your message is right on time!! It describes the season I am currently in perfectly! Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

Shayla Hilton April 10, 2023 - 5:50 pm

I’m so glad to hear that! I’m praying that your transition will be beautiful and fruitful in every way!

Melaney H. April 11, 2023 - 7:03 am

Wow! 🥰 Such an on time article! It can be a challenge mentally to make a leap like this but it’s so rewarding when you follow God’s prompting! Silencing the fear (especially when you don’t feel supported) is vital! I love this! Thank you Shayla!

Lakeisha, CONGRATULATIONS on your career pivot! We’re waving our victory banners with you sis! 🏁🎊🎉

Shayla Hilton April 11, 2023 - 12:11 pm

Yes and Amen to all of this!


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