Former Google career coach Jenny Blake’s ‘Pivot Method’ Is a Visual Map of Success

January 18, 2017 5:00 am
(Jenny Blake)
(Jenny Blake)


Years ago, a “career” was seen as a focused, one-company trajectory with a set beginning, middle, and end. Today, with a globalized economy demanding more flexibility from us, careers are more complicated and subject to change. But rather than fight this tendency, as many people suggest, former Google career coach Jenny Blake thinks we should adapt to it, and she has her own system for doing just that: the Pivot Method.

In an interview with Forbes, Blake explained that the Pivot Method was inspired by basketball. “Think like a basketball player,” she said. “One foot stays firmly planted (grounding down in your strengths and existing career portfolio) while the other scans for opportunity (people, new skills, and projects that interest you). Then, start passing the ball around the court, or piloting with small experiments, to test the waters of the new direction.”

The best way to organize those thoughts, she said in an interview with CNBC, is a “mind map.” That’s her term for a hand-drawn visual diagram of your interests and goals. Think of it as a flowchart for what you’d like to accomplish in both your professional and personal lives.

“My favorite way to brainstorm creatively, whether it’s about values or setting goals for the new year, is through mind maps,” Blake told CNBC, also mentioning that mind maps help people “break out of linear thinking”; and draw a literal picture of their strengths, interests, work experiences, and connections. It’s more fun than staring at a computer, and it helps users make connections that become positive changes.

The ideal time to draw a mind map is when you feel stuck; whether you want to take on a new role within your job, get a new job, or strike out on your own, Blake stresses that you shouldn’t doubt or ignore that feeling. “Plateaus are a good thing,” she told Forbes. “They signal you are ready for something new.”

Pre-order a copy of Jenny Blake’s book, PIVOT: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One here.

—RealClearLife Staff

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