According to research from McKinsey, our unique experiences and knowledge make up around two-thirds of your total lifetime wealth, and the skills you have contribute nearly half of that value. Yet most of us don’t understand what we’ve done to add value in the jobs we’ve had over our lifetimes. And that matters when you want to make a career change.
In my work as a coach and advisor, I’ve seen people spend too much time asking Am I ready for a pivot? instead of taking action.
If you’re craving a pivot, don’t get stuck in pondering purgatory. With this tool, you’ll find that you’re far more prepared than you think you are—and show others that you’re ready for a full turn.
The exercise: 3 x 5 = 3
While it’s valuable to audit your experiences in your current role, we should go all the way back. I can tell you what I learned from jobs at 15 and 45 years old because I worked through an exercise I created called the 3 x 5 = 3. The exercise has you write down 3 answers to 5 prompts, then summarize it all in 3 major takeaways.
First, write down every job you’ve ever had.
For each job, write down:
3️⃣ things you learned or experienced
3️⃣ projects you worked on or led
3️⃣ skills you gained
3️⃣ things you did well based on your learnings, projects, and skills
3️⃣ things you could have done better or differently based on the same
Once you’ve put together the whole picture of your experiences, review your work and consider the total value you brought to the role. Summarize each job into 3️⃣ key contributions you made.
Be confident in your transferable skills
Smart companies and recruiters are pretty good at identifying transferable skills, and the 3 x 5 = 3 exercise can help you find yours on your own:
- Are you awesome at time management, no matter what they throw your way?
- Have you been told your EQ is off the charts?
- Are you a fierce prioritizer that sets the example for others?
You’re identifying skills that you’ve consistently performed well over the years, and you can use them to make your pitch to pivot—wherever you want to land.
Your potential to pivot is high. And if you didn’t think so before, self-reflection and a few thoughtful hours should boost your confidence. Embrace your value, and you’ll find impact in what I like to call your best next.
For more tips on preparing for your pivot, check out Career pivot? You’re more prepared than you think.