Our brains are designed to keep us safe. Which means we often feel a sense of hesitation when faced with the prospect of making a change.
That change could be figuring out the right time to start a family, or when to buy a house.
Or making a career pivot.
The thought of leaving behind the security and stability of a familiar job can be daunting, even if we’re not happy or fulfilled in our current role. But the truth is, making a career pivot can be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling things we can do for ourselves.
Last week, we demonstrated how making a slight career move could be the right ticket to getting career satisfaction. But if a career move didn’t sound quite right, this week we’re continuing with our Women’s History Month features with a celebrity that is the perfect example of how using a career pivot can take you to heights you never even dreamed of.
First things first. What’s a career pivot? A career pivot is when you choose to stay within the same industry, but pursue a different role with similar skills.
This amazing woman started her career as a news anchor in Nashville, Tennessee, in the 1970s. She quickly gained a reputation for being an excellent interviewer and storyteller, but (like most of us if you’re reading this) she knew that she wanted more. She had the desire to connect with people on a deeper level and to use her platform to inspire and empower others.
Six years later, she made a career pivot and moved to Baltimore, Maryland, to co-anchor the evening news. It was during her time in Baltimore that she was offered her first talk show, “People Are Talking.” The show was a local hit, and her natural charisma and ability to connect with people soon caught the attention of producers in Chicago.
In 1984, she made her biggest career pivot yet, moving from Baltimore to Chicago to host a morning talk show called “AM Chicago.” The show was struggling in the ratings at the time, but this formidable lady’s talent and passion for connecting with people quickly turned things around. Within months, the show had become the number one talk show in Chicago, and this charismatic woman was on her way to becoming a household name.
In 1986, “AM Chicago” was renamed to a show you and I are probably incredibly familiar with. The show was an instant success, and it began airing nationally. With her unique blend of humor, empathy, and authenticity resonating with audiences across the country, this woman was able to tackle a wide range of topics, from serious issues like racism and sexual abuse to lighter fare like fashion and celebrity gossip.
Through it all, she used her platform to give a voice to people who had been marginalized and ignored. She introduced viewers to new ideas and perspectives, and she inspired millions of people to believe in themselves and their dreams. Her show was more than just entertainment; it was a movement that changed the way we think about talk shows and television.
You can probably guess who I’m talking about by now.
It’s none other than: Oprah Winfrey.
Oprah’s journey to becoming a talk show host is a testament to the power of career pivots. But she didn’t end it there.
Even after finding success in talk shows, Oprah pivoted once more – towards a career in producing. In 1986, she founded Harpo Productions, which went on to produce some of the most successful talk shows and television programs of all time.
Oprah’s pivot to producing wasn’t easy. In fact, it was met with resistance from many who believed that she was better suited to being in front of the camera. But Oprah knew that producing was in her bones, and she was determined to make it work.
Over the years, Oprah has produced a wide variety of shows, including “Dr. Phil,” “The Dr. Oz Show,” and “Rachel Ray.” She’s also produced several successful films, including “The Color Purple,” “Selma,” and “The Hundred-Foot Journey.”
But Oprah’s success isn’t just limited to producing. She’s also a successful author, with several bestselling books to her name, including “What I Know For Sure” and “The Path Made Clear.” And of course, she’s known for her philanthropic work, which includes founding the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa.
Through it all, Oprah’s willingness to pivot and try new things has been the key to her success. She’s never been afraid to take risks or step outside of her comfort zone, and it’s this mindset that has helped her achieve so much.
Oprah’s story is a testament to the power of pivoting.
Through it all, she’s stayed true to herself and her passions, and it’s this authenticity that has made her such an inspiration to so many people.
What would a career pivot look like for you? Is staying where you are being true to yourself? Or, like Oprah, do you have that inkling that there could be more waiting for you if you just made a pivot? Comment below and let me know!
Always in your corner,