Bad Bosses Part 3 of 4:

Take Action to Pivot to a New Career

I’ve been writing about the Bad Bosses in our work lives and what effect they can have on us.

I described four actions you can take when you find yourself with a Bad Boss:

  1. Stand up for yourself and take action.
  2. Leave the company or department.
  3. Stay and Learn
  4. Stay and insulate yourself

Now, here is the fifth alternative to consider…pivot to a new career!

This is an excellent alternative!

I believe that the bad boss can come at a strategic time.  If you feel this way about your boss, then this is a good time to stop, pivot, and consider alternatives!

The bad boss may also come to remind you that this is not what you want to do any longer.  Remember the Great Resignation. A lot of people are making moves to a new career.

Start by working with a coach, trusted family member, or friend to evaluate what your vision and passion for your future career truly are.  What are your transferable skills? I always evaluate my clients’ Gallup Strengthsfinder results, a terrific way to find your core strengths and look to pivot to something much more rewarding for you. Maybe this is an opportunity to become a freelancer/entrepreneur. It is worth considering.

There are three possibilities as you pivot from your current situation:

                Stay in your career and find a new job

                Leave your career and find a new job

                Become an entrepreneur

There are basic steps you can start with to determine which of these paths work best for you:   

  1. Set a Vision for your career. The vision can be broad.  You are just putting together a possible vision of what you see yourself doing in the future in your career.  What do you most enjoy? The vision is less about a title or company and more about what kinds of things you would actually be doing.  Create a big and bold vision. You can always refine it later.

An example of this from my own career was my pivot from corporate technology senior leadership to becoming a coach entrepreneur. Pretty big pivot.  I started the vision knowing that I enjoyed working with individuals to increase their potential and career success.  Hmmm…what industries would align with that vision?  I would confirm that later on.  At the early stage, I just built a vision to be tested out later. Again, the vision may be big or small at this point, and that’s OK.

Don’t put any “realistic limits” on your vision.  Again, in my case, I thought I would be able to become a coach entrepreneur in a few months as a part of my vision.  The vision was refined as I learned that I needed to take a yearlong course, pass an exam and have so many hours for certification as a coach.  Don’t worry about the time it will take…the basic vision is what you want to achieve here.

  1. Understand your Strengths and Opportunity areas. Begin by understanding the areas you are good at and what areas present themselves for further growth.  This is especially important as you consider a new career.  You want to ensure that the career is consistent with those strengths you demonstrate naturally.  I encountered this recently with a client. She was looking to pivot to a project management role.  While she did have solid skills in this arena, her strengths were mostly strategic. I coached her to think about alternatives in the strategy realm, using her project management background.

If there are opportunity areas, what can you do to strengthen these? There are great classes offered on Coursera or LinkedIn that can help.

  1. Investigate Assessments. I recommend two excellent assessments. The first is the Gallup Strengthsfinder. This assessment will show you your core strengths.  There are 34 strengths but the top 10 are the most important. This is extremely helpful in determining what type of a job/career would work best to supplement your strengths.  For example, my top strength is Restorative which is basically a problem solver.  I need to be solving problems.  My Technology career was great for this as was my leadership career – all about solving problems, just different types of problems. And now, as a coach, I’m still solving problems.  Work into your Strengths and make your career more fulfilling that you thought possible.

I also recommend CareerFitter. CareerFitter is relatively inexpensive and can give you thought provoking nuggets around best careers for you.  You may not want to follow their recommendations directly, but the assessment may suggest items you hadn’t thought of before.  This is especially useful if you do want to change careers but aren’t sure in which direction.

  1. Review the vision in the context of strengths – what needs to change if anything based on your assessment results? Extra training? On the job experience?  Looking at my own pivot, as I mentioned above, once I landed on becoming a Coach, I learned that I needed additional training and certification to make my vision come alive. The training was at least a year with an established coaching school.  This was the first step in moving toward my own pivot for the future.

The exercises above are useful even if you don’t plan to move…always good to take a temperature check on your career and ensure it’s still working for you.


What actions, big or small, can you take this week that would begin to move you in a different and positive direction for your career future.

Lupe Wood