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Career pivots are challenging and sometimes getting a job in a new field can feel impossible. That’s why I was so excited to talk with Shyvee Shi this week on Coffee With Kim. Shyvee successfully pivoted from a consultant to a product manager and landed her dream role at LinkedIn Learning. She gave us the rundown on how to make the right connections, prepare for interviews and reposition our experience for a new career. Plus a secret weapon that will accelerate you no matter what stage you’re in. I’ll send you notes on everything, just sign up here.
Shyvee’s career path is fascinating. She pivoted from technology to banking to user experience, and most recently product management. She says the secret to a successful career pivot is learning from others.
“Ask people in the field you’re interested in what a week in their life looks like to get to know if you’d like it or not. Also, prioritize connecting with those who share a similar background with you. Those who are a few steps ahead and can help you navigate questions you’ll have now and later about your career pivots.”
Learning from others and networking is totally our thing here in the CWK community! You can go for quantity, striking quick conversations with many people, or quality, making strong connections with one or two. Shyvee says either way career pivots become easier when you network with power!
Here are two ways to do so:
1. Play on your strengths – “Lead with ways that you’re influential and how the relationship will be mutually beneficial. For example, when I share that I volunteer with my local alumni association, people automatically think I know a lot of other people and therefore can add value.”
2. Always follow up – “After meeting someone I always follow up with an email. They may not respond, but being proactive and thoughtful keeps me connected and I’ll have the opportunity to double down the next time I see them.”
When connecting with others for help with your career pivot, an hour meeting isn’t always an option. Shyvee and I agreed asking new connections for book or podcast recommendations is a great way to get their expert advice. Stand out amongst the crowd by actually doing what they suggest and following up with what you learned! This shows people you take them and the topic seriously and keeps the conversation going.
I teach more on the art of following up in my Career Capital course. Check it out!
Networking only when you need something can feel sneaky. Shyvee says reframe your networking narrative by always adding value to the other party too.
“I recently connected with a follower to discuss her questions about creating on LinkedIn. As a thank you, she helped me design my LinkedIn banner. She wasn’t able to give me a referral, but she cared enough about what I was doing to offer her service. Being genuinely interested goes a long way.”
I was curious to know Shyvee’s advice for making a career pivot early on versus being 20 years in.
She explained those just starting out should:
But someone more seasoned should:
Whether you’re making a career pivot as a junior associate or as a C-Suite exec, Shyvee says to think two jobs ahead! Planning your trajectory gives greater insight into where you want to be.
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