"Looking to make a career change? Pivot is a book you will turn to again and again."
—Daniel Pink, author of To Sell is Human and Drive
Jenny Blake, author of Life After College and former career development program manager at Google, reveals how to methodically make your next career move by doubling down on what is already working.
This book is for anyone searching for an answer to the question, "What's next?" Whether you have hit a plateau in your perfect-on-paper job, are considering taking on a new role in your current job, are thinking about starting your own business, or you want to move into a new industry altogether, one thing remains clear: your career success depends on your ability to determine your next best move.
If change is the only constant, let’s get better at it.
Jenny Blake is an author, podcaster, and keynote speaker who loves helping business owners move from friction to flow through smarter systems, powered by Delightfully Tiny Teams. Her third book, Free Time: Lose The Busywork, Love Your Business, launches March 22, 2022. Jenny’s previous book, Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One, won the Axiom award for best business book in the careers category in 2016.
Jenny hosts two podcasts with over 1 million downloads combined: Free Time for Heart-Based Business owners, and Pivot with Jenny Blake to help others navigate change. After working at a Silicon Valley startup, then at Google for five years in coaching and career development, Jenny moved to New York City in 2011 to launch her own business. She loves yoga and buys too many books. Learn more and take the Free Time quiz at ItsFreeTime.com.
It was a nice enough read, but it got repetitive halfway through. I'd also liked to see some additional examples of other pivots, not just the "leaving a corporation and starting my own business" scenario.
This book could NOT have come at a better time for me, as I am in the midst of yet another career adventure, now known as a pivot. I am a constant career explorer and was beginning to think there was something wrong with me because I continue to change directions. With Jenny’s assurance that this is the new normal, I no longer feel alone as I pilot new ideas before I fully launch. Jenny’s process on how to pivot in your career is thought out, thorough and actionable.
I found myself nodding, marking and taking notes to make my next career exploration the best yet. If you’re thinking of changing careers and are not sure how to go about it, I am confident Pivot will help you figure out what is the next move for you, and give you the tools you need to succeed in your future adventures.
Whether you're looking for a new job or not, Pivot provides a potent playbook packed with practical strategies and tactics to make impactful changes in your work life.
A few things I love about Jenny's book: > As we move to a more project-based economy, the strategies within Pivot will be come even more relevant. (i.e. "Careers are no longer straightforward, linear, and predictable like ladders. They are now much more modular, customizable, and dynamic, like smartphones.) > The strategies are rooted in a strengths-based approach and aligned with your values. > The strategies are designed to mitigate risk; it takes courage to pivot, but it's less scary with this book as your road map. > Like everything Jenny writes/does, she's broken Pivoting down intentionally and methodically into a process (Plant, Scan, Pilot, Launch) that will work for you -- complete with relevant exercises. If you're actively trying to pivot, don't skip these!
Even if you're not one of the 90% of workers "not engaged" or "actively disengaged" from your job, I highly recommend (regularly) going through the first three stages of Jenny's Pivot-method. This is what top performers/impacters (individuals that optimize for high net growth and impact) do to continue growing and remain agile and proactive in their careers and work lives.
The author had a clear intention of owning her own business someday. But first she got a great job at Google that tied in perfectly with her plan, that would teach her what she needed to go off on her own. Then she quit and went off on her own after the fantastic, paid education. It's actually a great pattern, it just doesn't apply to a lot of people, and therefore none of the content was relevant to me.
It was pretty average to me. Jenny Blake describes the career pivot decision as four fundamental steps: 1. Plant, 2. Scan, 3. Pilot, and 4. Launch. While this may seem intuitive, there are still a lot of helpful advice in this book. I particularly benefitted from learning about the pilot step and I think this is perhaps the critical step since most people are risk-averse (we need to validate our idea before we go all in and risk everything). I would have liked more science or reference to studies and less anecdotes but that’s just my personal preference. Otherwise it’s a decent book for someone who might want a career change but doesn’t know exactly how to go about doing it.
I picked this book up a couple of weeks ago because I saw that the author was doing a webinar for the RWA, or some RWA chapter. I knew I wouldn't be able to do the webinar, because the times of those things never seem convenient when they come around. Something always comes up.
Anyway, I thought I would look at the book instead. I diligently worked my way through the exercises in the first half of the book. There were some interesting insights, but the exercises mostly reworked the same ground I go over habitually in wondering what to do with my life.
I started skimming more in the second half, both because the book is now overdue at the library and because I felt like the author was talking about an alternate universe, a corporate world where everyone has this robust web of personal connections, clients, friends, etc., although she did discuss some strategies for finding mentors that might even be useful to a serial solopreneur. I do kind of wonder how she will do on the webinar with the romance writers, who are all basically self-employed.
On the whole, an okay book that's probably best suited to people discontented with their high-power corporate careers, and not so great for those with fewer resources.
Pivot is such a great read for anyone looking to make a change in their career (or life!) or searching for how to make their current path even stronger. Jenny Blake knocks it out of the park with her second book, Pivot - sharing her framework for making small changes, or big ones, to change directions without having to start over.
My favorite part of this book was seeing her framework in action - with real life examples of people going through pivots in their own career. I'm a "see-it-to-believe-it" person, and this book definitely delivered on that promise. Instead of staying only at the high-level strategy most business books fall into, this one delivered a punch with actual pivots, methods and details behind an array of different moves and pivots that I could easily see myself mirroring in my future moves. Through reading this book, I realized I've pivoted more often than I ever imagined - but as I make future moves, I can remove a lot of the fear out of them and get confidence from the methodology Jenny shared as well from the pivots many shared throughout the book.
Having followed Jenny Blake from her blog, to Life After College to the Pivot Podcast, I was eagerly awaiting the release of her newest book. I was already planning a pivot (not in those words), which made this book especially appealing to me so it could not have come sooner. Needless to say, I had high expectations.
I have to say that the book exceeded my expectations in every way. Having completed nearly all of the exercises throughout, I've put down the book feeling as though I've already taken the first two steps in my pivot and have plans to take the next few steps. The exercises are all well spent uses of time that helped me determine what it is that I want to pivot TO and what values I need to keep top of mind during this transition.
I was also impressed by how motivating and inspirational the book is, considering I was expecting a simple how-to guide. There is a real focus on ensuring readers don't get stuck JUST READING and analyzing by repeatedly encouraging readers to take the next step... ANY next step.
Major props to Jenny Blake for an amazingly helpful book!
Meh. Too detailed, too many self reflection practices to possibly do in a 24 hour, 5 day work week if you want to be an emotionally available and relatable human being. This could have been 50 pages and I would have gotten just as much out of it. It’s a possible tool if you’re interested in a new career or side thing.
I read this because it was the GW Alumni book club selection for this month. This book focuses on transitioning from a current job to a new more adventurous position, probably as your own boss. For people outside that particular paradigm (say you are currently unemployed) it doesn't apply as much. It also wasn't focused on brevity or very clearly demarcated points so I didn't find it as helpful as some other self-help-type books I've read.
I really enjoyed this book as someone who wants to have side hustles in my life, it was a good push to go for it and not let my fears hold me back. I also enjoyed the chapter on how to network which isn't the typical meeting people at work. There was also a good reminder to be seen at your job and achieve your next goals in your career.
As non-fiction business type books go, this was a really good, practical, helpful read. While there are lots of little anecdote type stories, there are also exercises asking good questions to help you figure out what you want and how to get there. I will keep this one handy for future reference and would recommend it to anyone exploring work/career options.
This was a perfect book for me at this time in my life. I have been lucky enough to have a full time job thus far in my career, however I am never afraid to look for the next opportunity to grow. Unfortunately I am one that is very risk averse and probably wait far too long before making a change. The change I'm guessing could be best for both myself and the company I'm sure.
At the end of the day, whether one is looking for a new job or not, Blake's book, Pivot shows/demonstrates possibilities through this book. She has her own experiences to draw from as well as many of her colleagues. There are a number of strategies and tactics to make changes in one's personal and work life.
Pivot has given me much thought and now the push I need to find the new opportunity, whether in or out of my current employment. I can definitely make a difference, even if it is just for my benefit, but no doubt should benefit all parties.
The beginning of the book was read. Scan and Plan were very helpful in my journey. Then I got lost in the Pilot and Launch sections. Material was not new or unique enough and did not flow them the other chapters. Overall, I like the overall concept of the Pivot method.
I enjoyed this book & it’s helpful in how you should think about changing your career. To me the last chapter was the most helpful- as someone looking to make a career change &/or to mentor someone in their change.
Change is an inevitable part of life, so how can we give ourselves the best chance of navigating big transitions as smoothly and constructively as possible? ‘Pivot’ explains how we can cultivate a mindset that will support us as we attempt to answer the big question “What’s next?”
This method is a 4-step framework that takes the start-up concept of pivoting and translates it into a set of actions we can use to face change head on. These steps are: Plant, Scan, Pilot, and Pivot. Jenny guides readers through each part of the process in detail.
Although this book is focused on professional transitions, it isn't just a book about career change. Part of the beauty of the "Pivot Method" is that it can be applied to almost any area of life.
Jenny illustrates the method using case studies, interviews and her personal experiences, and provides illuminating exercises. Unlike other books about similar topics, Pivot combines theory with interactive exercises that turn the experience of reading the book into a guided journey through current changes and opportunities in readers’ own lives.
This is a down-to-earth, optimistic book that doesn’t downplay the challenges that come with constant change but encourages us to view them as pathways towards growth. In a time when people tend to view the fast-changing nature of our world as a problem, Jenny shows us how it’s actually an asset and something we can use to our advantage to deepen our satisfaction in life and work.
Highly recommended to anyone who wants to develop a toolbox of questions and resources, plus the necessary mindset, to more skilfully navigate our fast-changing lives.
Many will see the categories and other reviews for this book, and think it is only for people focusing on changing careers.
They would be unfortunately incorrect and missing out.
Blake's book, Pivot, does focus a lot on career and professional choices that many successful (or on their way to successful) people have made that put them in their current position. It offers resources, exercises, worksheets, and more to design a comprehensive guide for anyone who wants *more* from their daily 9-5 (or freelancing career or self-employment or...)
The basic takeaway from Pivot is just that - PIVOT! (This is best read in a screaming Ross voice from the tv show "Friends")
We all deserve to do work we love.
But in today's working world, this often means that we have to create our own happiness and destiny in our careers. That may mean adjusting the tasks of your current position, plotting a trajectory for future potential that is what YOU want instead of what has historically been the "corporate ladder" in your field, breaking out on your own for self-employment and freelancing at something you excel in, or scrapping it all together and starting a whole new path.
Regardless of your journey, you must be adaptable and learn the essential art of pivoting - knowing how to plan your next moves (more important) that will lead your overall goal (still important, but less than the pivots that will get you there - at least right now!)
Consider this book your roadmap for doing just that!
This book has plenty of good information and strategies for making career changes. However, it is just not the kind of book I enjoy reading, and it was a chore for me to get through it. Your mileage may vary, as you might find it to be immensely helpful.
I'm going to give up on this one. It's not completely useless and I think the exercises could be helpful, but it's clearly not targeted for someone looking to make a mid-life career move. Early on, the author introduces a 62- and 65-year-old thinking about a "Pivot". I made it through 45% of the book and they never came back despite many twenty- and thirty-somethings being discussed repeatedly. "Networking" in the way she suggests would require a full-time effort, alone, while choosing to neglect either one's current job or family. The author's first book focused on helping new college graduates find direction. Five years later she published this one based on her success in leaving Google and starting her own business. I think this could be very valuable for someone in their twenties or early thirties without the financial responsibilities that come with family and home ownership, but for someone my age (50), it's just not realistic. It also requires a career-focus that I just don't have and it seems to be more geared toward potential entrepreneurs, something I also have no interest in being.
Hat tip to James Altucher on this because Jenny's appearance on his podcast introduced me to Jenny and convinced me to read this book. Having pivoted many times over my career, Jenny offers a well-organized, well-thought out process for career reinvention that draws from your strengths and values. This will be one of those books I keep coming back to.
This book is obviously, glaringly written by and for -- let's call them -- the "upper-middle class, progressive, mobile, neo-liberal millennial." Which, fair enough. I'm not knocking that. I organize the majority of my life -- including much of my personal life -- on Google Sheets. So I get it. Who this book is *not* for, then, is -- well, basically everyone else.
The intended audience is clear all throughout the book, both in its content and style -- TedTalks repeatedly referenced in the highest of regards. Paragraphs about, "hey, just take a 6-month vacation in another country to inspire your creativity," left totally unquestioned. Almost every major self-help author at some point name-dropped (without any accompanying exploratory depth). Heck, even Ayn Rand and Lao Tzu are quoted. It's quite the assemblage for sure.
So, there really isn't much content this book has to offer for just any person about pivoting careers just, like, in general. Worse, the content that does exist -- the content for the specific aforementioned millennial -- ends up being very vague and dare-I-say obvious. Still, I can see how this book may help provide a basic framework ("plant; scan; pilot; launch") for the millennial who simply needs a basic entry-point to start thinking about making a professional change.
As for me? I got the most out of the second-to-last chapter "Lead." The author zooms out -- suddenly, and uncharacteristically -- and gives several concrete examples how the author's underlying principles (about continual growth, self-actualization, etc., at work) might apply to executives and managers hoping to create workplace cultures where employees may actively choose to remain at their respective companies, where employees may feel fully seen, where employees may see their employments as a space to grow, self-actualize, etc. As a union organizer, I enjoyed this philosophical speculation. Lord knows we can make our workplaces less alienating.
This chapter, I found, deeply engaging and worthy of much discussion.
But overall, "Pivot" is -- it's inoffensive. It's fine.
Jenny has a very defined method of 4 (or 5 for businesses) steps that people can go to to make sure they are maximizing their work potentional. She gives lots of examples of real life people who do this.
Her steps are: 1. Plant: What's working and where do you want to end up 2. Scan: explore options 3. Pilot: test what's next 4. Launch: all in 5. Lead: create a pivot friendly culture (for buisinesses)
I'm not sure who her audience is. In some ways, I feel like she is talking to eveyone who can hold a job. And she does have a few examples of people who pivoted to be a school teacher or something like that and that was their right pivot. But the vast majority (it probably was exasberated because I listened to the audiobook and couldn't just let my eyes jump over all the examples as I could if I had been reading it) of her examples were people who left corporate jobs to start their own companies. She also used some language like "pivoters can do x,y, and z" which isn't true of all or even most people, so it feels like this is a book and method reserved for a particular category of people. I think the book would benefit if she was more explicit on does this method apply to all of most people. Perhaps it would have been even better if there were two books. 1. The method applied to anyone 2. The method applied to CEOs etc.
I do agree with her that change is constant, and we would all do better to be aware of ourselves and our surroundings and frequently ask ourselves the first stages of the pivot method. "Where do I want to be in one year, what is my first step to get there?"
While I will never want to start my own busiiness, so many steps will not be for me, I will take away several things: don't wait until change is forced on you, take calculated risks, take one step at a time (don't try to leap frog).
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
I randomly came across this book in a bookstore at the perfect time. In Pivot, Jenny Blake offers a practical guide for people who are considering their next career move. She recommends clarifying your values, vision and strengths, scanning for future possibilities, and piloting different options before launching in a new direction. I like how honest she was about the struggles in her own career journey, her focus on contributing to the world and how she cheers people on in their quest to change jobs and help others. As someone who is thinking about my next career move, it was empowering for me to read about other people looking for new opportunities to learn and grow. I appreciated the practical exercises to apply concepts to one’s own career search and the examples of different impacters. I have already followed some of her advice. With clear and engaging writing and topics that are so relevant to today’s economy, I hope this book will become the What Color is Your Parachute for a new generation. I strongly recommend it to everyone.
Pivot's theme of pivoting ones career in "an intentional, methodical process for nimbly navigating career changes" matched perfectly with my current career pivot. There are numerous stories and excerpts from other self-awareness books that provided some depth to an otherwise corporate-speak initiative.
The positive takeaways for me were: 1) the gentleman who spoke about retirement being an antiquated concept - totally agree with him and intend to use that in interviews, 2) the antiquated notion that we need a 5 year plan - with the fast work environment we live in, the job I want in 5 years probably doesn't exists yet, and 3) the story about good and evil and we are the one that we feed (p. 56).
Ms. Blake spent five years at Google in career development and training and her PIVOT concept reflects this. Having been in corporate American for some time, it read like a development module that all employees would be required to take -- a rather typical employee development du jour module. Nothing new, nothing outstanding, nothing I haven't been exposed to before.
Fantastic book for anyone considering a career change - or anyone simply fed up, frustrated or feeling depressed. Jenny Blake holds out a hand to hold you up while you take a deep look at where you're at, where you want to be and how to get there. Change is scary, but Pivot is an excellent guide.
I found myself stopping in the middle of a chapter and immediately getting to work on what she was suggesting - and since reading this book, I've gotten closer to launching a business and getting my side hustle to actually hustle. There is something about this book that provides a sense of security, so you can take a few risks, ask yourself some tough questions and get yourself moving.
And don't even get me started on all the exercises, workbooks and freebies on the site.
Better yet, Jenny Blake is a writer. This book has serious game when it comes to telling a story. I find that a lot of "self-help" books fall down on the writing, with chopping sentences and poor construction. Blake has got style.
Pivot by Jenny Blake is on its way to becoming a modern day business classic with a focus on the new model of work which features short stints as opposed to corporate longevity and a focus on building upon what you are doing leading to your ultimate career goal. Her method which is summed up in Pivot focuses on the areas of plant, scan, pilot and launch (with a fifth section here on how to lead with pivot). The methodology is surprising simple with focusing on what your skill sets are within your current area, scanning for future opportunities and when you find one piloting with minimal chance of failure and with a successful pilot launching your opportunity. While her examples are most relevant for those going from corporate to launching their own business in a project-based world there is also a great deal of relevance of moving between opportunities at companies and even freelancing. It is a quick read that as some people said can be a little repetitive at points but overall very well done and worth the time to take a look at for those trying to navigate the modern economy.