Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about the power of the pivot. Pivoting can come about from a disruptive event or life change, from a restless feeling that it’s time to change, or from an inspired and committed decision to move in a new direction.
Pivoting in a Pandemic
This whole year has been an opportunity to pivot. Major disruption was felt across the world with the onset of this pandemic and our lives were subsequently turned upside down. But with that disruption, we’ve learned how to pivot and how to go about living our lives in the best ways that we can right now. I’ve seen friends who have been laid off from their jobs who have pivoted and started pursuing a completely new career. I’ve seen businesses that specialized in in-person events pivot and take their content virtual. I’ve seen people who now have extra time in their day pivot and use their time and energy towards embracing their creativity, whether that’s painting, dancing, or baking.
This pandemic is just one disruption that we will have in our lifetime. When we really think about it, life is never a linear path of what we expect it or plan it to be. There are always disruptions or forks in the road where we’re presented with a decision. A decision to turn away in fear and overwhelm or a decision to pivot and make an active choice to move forward.
Powerful Pivots I Made
Looking back, there have been major moments in my life where I’ve been faced to make a choice – a choice to recoil in fear or overwhelm or to pivot. The pivots I ended up making changed the trajectory of what I thought my life was going to look like: ⠀
- Growing up, I thought I was going to be a writer/journalist – until I took a Journalism 101 class in college and realized something about it didn’t feel right. I pivoted and found another passion in advertising, which has led to a successful corporate career.
- As I prepared for the real world, my dream job was to work at an advertising agency. When I landed a job at one of the top global media agencies, I felt like I had won the jackpot – until I was working 14 hour days and absolutely miserable. I pivoted and found another part of the advertising industry where I could learn and grow.
- After putting off writing for nearly 6 years, I realized how much I missed writing and being creative. Instead of continuing down the path of ignoring my passion, I pivoted my energy outside of work to build L&I so I could write and help others in a way I could drive impact.
- I’ve always been the type of person that needs to be on the go and filling my plate with things to do. When the pandemic hit, I found my calendar emptying as events, business opportunities, and trips were canceled. For the first time in years, I had huge pockets of time to fill. Instead of letting the overwhelm of the pandemic envelop me, I pivoted my mindset and decided to use this extra time to finally write that book I’ve always wanted to write.
Often times, the pivots we make in life end up being our most pivotal moments. For me, it’s allowed me to continue to grow. It’s helped me to trust my gut and the decisions I’m making, to dig deep and ask myself what I really want out of life, to take initiative and own the path I choose, and to find my voice so I can use it to help and serve others.
Pivoting is empowering. It’s accepting that things can change. It’s admitting to yourself that something isn’t working or feels off. It’s being flexible to make changes in your life. It’s switching your focus to something that energizes and excites you. It’s envisioning the opportunities that can come from changing course. It’s seeing a purpose in the pivot and being grateful for the experience.
So if something isn’t working for you, something doesn’t feel right, something is pulling at you or something unexpected happens, remember you always have the choice. My hope is that you choose to pivot. You never know, those pivots you make may turn into your life’s most 𝒑𝒊𝒗𝒐𝒕𝒂𝒍 𝒎𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒔.
Kelly Nash is a Chicago-based writer, career coach, speaker and founder of Lipstick & Ink®. She also works full-time in technology as a Success Manager at Salesforce and has over 10 years of digital marketing experience. Kelly has been featured in Thrive Global, Chicago Tribune, International Association of Women, General Assembly, Salesforce, and SheFactor. She’s fueled by black coffee, sunshine, a good ink pen, and a bold lip.