There’s a whole genre of books out there focusing on the concept of the “pivot” in your career and, more generally, life. If you’re reading this website, your “massive transformative purpose” is probably to help course-correct climate change and the environmental crisis, so you’re looking at a “green pivot.” Let’s quickly explore why you’ve got it easy 🙂
Adam Markel’s book Pivot: The Art and Science of Reinventing Your Career and Life is divided into two parts: Clarity: Changing Your Pivot Beliefs and Momentum: Creating Your Pivot Behaviors. At risk of over-simplifying, the whole first half of Markel’s book is about seeking the clarity to make a pivot. He does this via the following headings:
- Unbelieve—this is where you have to identify the various beliefs you may have that are preventing your pivot
- Let Go—once you’ve identified those beliefs, you’ve got to, well, let them go
- Face Your Fear—how and why fear proves an obstacle to your pivot
- Enter the Pivot Phone Booth—figuring out who you want to become in life
- Envision Your Future: Finding Your Life’s Purpose—exactly what it says on the tin, or just different language for the “massive transformative purpose”
- Big-D Decide—where you’ve reached the point of readiness to take action.
Something similar happens in Jenny Blake’s book Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One. Blake’s book is divided into four parts: Plant, Scan, Pilot, and Launch. Again, the first half of the book is largely about seeking the clarity to make a pivot. As Blake states:
- “Plant by creating a foundation from your values, strengths, and interests, and your one-year vision for the future. The most successful pivots start from a strong base of who you already are, what is already working, and how you will define success for this next phase of your life.”
- “Scan by researching new and related skills, talking to others, and mapping potential opportunities. This is the exploration phase: identifying and plugging knowledge and skill gaps, and having a wide variety of conversations.”
It is only in the next Pilot phase that you’re encouraged to take “small, low-risk experiments to test your new direction.”
So, the first big reason why the green pivot is the easiest pivot is that you already have—to a large degree—clarity: you’re not just feeling the need for a pivot that still needs defining, rather a green pivot. That’s not to say there aren’t useful things for you in the first halves of these two books, just that you’ve already done a lot of the heavy lifting.
The second big reason why the green pivot is the easiest pivot sounds a bit judgy, but I have a feeling you’ll agree. Markel and Blake are pretty much agnostic about the nature of your pivot. However, not all pivots are equally valuable, and not all pivots will be equally well received by friends, family and colleagues.
For example, if you announced that you have decided to pivot toward becoming a secondhand car salesperson or a reality TV star, people may well say “good luck” to your face, but are probably going to raise their eyebrows the moment you’ve walked away and say to themselves “what are they thinking?”
However, one of the common themes that emerges from Ecotopian Careers conversations is that nearly everyone who tells their network about a green pivot receives plentiful and genuine positive feedback. Because, at the end of the day, everyone knows that the green pivot is not just a good idea, but essential for the future of humanity: you’d have to be a psychopath to have a problem with it.
So, there you have it. There are two big reasons why the green pivot is the easiest pivot: you’ve already done a lot of the work, and everyone agrees that it’s a good idea!