Career pivoting has become more common among professionals, especially during times of uncertainty, profound changes, and increased burnout. Knowing what makes a successful career pivot is essential to continued career growth, even if that growth isn't the kind to move you up a ladder.

While a career change can be daunting because it could mean starting over, people are still choosing to switch. Microsoft published its Annual Work Trend Index Report in March of this year, with data suggesting that 52 percent of Gen-Zers and Millennials are likely to pivot careers within the year. These findings are consistent with older data that had previously led organizations like Gallup to nickname Millennials as the Job-Hopping Generation.

While switching jobs is common, knowing how to do it correctly takes skill. You don't want to burn bridges, and you want to ensure your next job is better than the last.

Be Intentional

No matter if the decision to career pivot is the result of necessity or choice, everyone can agree that it is something that can't be left to chance. 

Kudoboard's CEO, Aaron Rubens, started his career in education as a math teacher. He chose to pursue a different path to create something from scratch by himself, even though he knew that undertaking such a pivot would be no easy task and would entail many risks.

Changing careers must be intentional. In a 2015 interview, Rubens said deciding to forgo the traditional path to launch Kudoboard was a financial risk, but he was glad he made the switch. Career pivoting is a risky move, which is why most people avoid it. However, the benefits that come with its successful completion are more than just financial, extending to professional and personal growth.

Be Methodical

Author Jenny Blake explains that a career pivot involves concentrating on aspects that are working while purposefully going in a new, related direction. As you can see, pivoting doesn't imply starting from scratch but building upon previous successes. While a pivot can certainly be seen as a 180-degree turn, there needs to be a connection between your previous experience and your new objective.

There are other aspects you must consider when shifting to a new direction. Of these, the most important is understanding that shortcuts might be detrimental in the long term. If you are undertaking a new entrepreneurial venture, doing so without creating a plan or learning the necessary skills will lead to failure in most instances. The shift needs to be well thought out.

Changing paths also requires you to remain open to new possibilities. While having a clear idea of what you are looking for is a must, career shifts always come with surprises that can be positive or negative. Some of these surprises might offer new possibilities. Don't let your original idea stop you from considering them, as some of these might prove advantageous.

Be Dependable

Finally, be honest with yourself and others. While you're going through a life-altering change, remember to keep your bridges mended. Be honest about why you're pivoting careers and avoid abandoning your previous position without notice.

Going through a big change can be hard. Be ready to rely on others. Starting a new endeavor of any kind is easier when you have a support system. Making an effort to extend your network is always a good idea, especially when career pivoting. You never know when a connection will lead you to your next opportunity. 

The work and business worlds are changing at an unprecedented pace. Whereas our grandparents used to be able to choose a profession and stick to it for most of their life, this is no longer the case. Not only would such an approach no longer be possible, but most of us would reject it. Being able to pivot careers provides additional freedoms, but to do it successfully, you have to be intentional, methodical, and dependable.