How Can You Pivot Professionally?

There's nothing scarier than changing direction midstream. 

We don't all start with the jobs we want. A lot of times, we figure out where we're supposed to go a little later in life. Over the last few years, the pandemic has given us more time than ever to create content. Being stuck at home day after day has also made it harder to stay motivated. We've all seen the blinking cursor and freaked out a little.

Whether you are producing a podcast, creating a short film, or writing a screenplay, coming up with content is hard.

The world is opening back up, and we face challenges like changing jobs, trying to professionally pivot, or starting something new. Especially in film and television.

While in San Diego at Comic-Con, I caught a panel discussing the ups, downs, pitfalls, and opportunities of creating and pivoting in a brave new world. It was held by Tony B Kim (CEO, Hero Within), and panelists included Ivy Doom Kitty (pro cosplayer), Chris Gore (Film Courage), and a few others who talked about pivoting professionally and the way to learn. 

Their first piece of advice was to develop your voice. The reason you want to pivot is that your voice is not being served where you are.

Okay, well, who do you want to be? Figure out exactly what you want to do and the pathways other people have taken to get there. If you're older or in the middle, figure out how you can maybe skip some of the bottom steps. 

That might take interviewing or listening to people in different fields talk about their way into the business. And also seek out mentors who might be willing to help guide you. The way to do that is to buy coffees, ask people to dinners, and unfortunately be okay taking a step back to step forward later in a new career field.

Whether you want to get into writing, directing, cinematography, or other things, you might have to lose a higher profile in one field to learn in another. 

The good news is, the older you are, the more of a chance you have to network. You've met lots of different people at this point in your life, so you may know even more willing to help you and to introduce you to people. Come at this with humility, be interested in learning. 

Regardless of all of this, think about who you are and what you're marketing. Find your audience and market to that niche. 

So how do you find your people and make money? 

You can take entry-level jobs like a writers' PA, camera PA, or others. You can also try to work independently and get self-taught. Look for videos explaining things and even blogs.

If you're trying to pivot and get followers, making a video channel is king. Places like YouTube, Twitch, TikTok, and even Instagram can help bring you money. If you get enough followers, you can monetize most of these. 

In the end, the key to pivoting is learning with a humble heart. Don't be afraid to switch, be okay knowing a step back might mean leaps forward later. Make friends, network with others, and always be learning. It'll take you far. 

Let us know what you think in the comments.      

Check out more coverage from Comic-Con Special Edition, presented by Blackmagic.

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