Gone are the days of picking a job or career path and sticking to it forever. Career pivots are far more common today than they ever were. For example, consider Oprah Winfrey’s transitions from TV anchor to superstar talk show host to film actress, producer, and media mogul. But how do you know if you’re ready for a change, or if your pivot is likely to be successful? The best thing you can do is to make an informed decision. Be clear about the motives you are trying to fulfill — especially changes to your professional self or identity — and scrutinize the pros and cons of available options vis-à-vis your skills, interests, and personality. Finding the balance between an open-minded desire to experiment and a strategic focus, and being honest with yourself when you evaluate the outcome of your choices, will enable you to keep advancing and developing your potential. This article offers a list of questions to ask yourself as you consider a career pivot, to help orient you in the process of evaluating your needs.
When the Vatican commissioned the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo was a highly regarded sculptor who had not yet produced any paintings. Luckily for the Vatican — and for Michelangelo — the gamble paid off: his first commissioned painting turned out one of the most majestic art works in history, visited by 6 million people each year.