Pivoting in your Career_Part One
I recently listened to an NPR podcast about pivoting in your career. It’s an area of interest to me since I’ve pivoted 3 times in my career. I know the value in switching it up for continuous learning and career success. In this two part blog post I’ll share the route I took and how one can expand and stretch within a given career while staying focused on inherent strengths.
My Career Journey and Pivots:
- I left college after 3 yrs to take a break to teach tennis, a passion I had early in my career. I was serious and got certified as a USPTA Professional. I returned to CU Boulder and earned my Bachelor’s degree in International Relations while I taught tennis part-time. After several years in this career, I had an injury that took me off the court which led me to a Sales career, Pivot #1. Little did I know that teaching tennis was a Sales job!
- In my first sales role, I sold word processors (people did buy these dinosaurs) and computers in the early 90’s as the personal computer became commonplace. I then moved into selling document management software to lawyers (my toughest customer by far). I then worked for a terrific company in downtown Denver (National Demographics & Lifestyles) that took a chance on my lack of industry experience but believed in my sales background. Each new role added to my responsibility levels as I pushed outside my comfort zone but also played to my strengths of "relationship building". My success there led to a promotion to National Sales Director, leading the sales team and continuing to manage key accounts.
- My desire for less work related travel and self-employment was Pivot #2. I started a niche staffing business in Boulder, CO with two partners (techie husband was one partner). Our focus was software programmers in the height of the dot.com bubble in the mid 90’s. We rode this hot wave of growth into 2001 when the bubble burst on tech in Boulder. We flexed and relocated to Madison for both career and family reasons in 2002.
- Pivot #3, I moved into contingency recruiting as Goode Solutions LLC in Madison in 2004. We relocated for my husband’s software development career and I reestablished myself within the business community through continuous networking. In this role I work closely with key clients on the "tough to find" tech and biotech opportunities that are popping up all over Madison and Dane County.