Eric Ries, author of Lean Start-up, advises companies to exist in a state of assessment. Assess what’s working and then pivot. Instead of doggedly sticking to the original idea, entrepreneurs must assess what the market wants and make adjustments accordingly. Release a minimum viable product and see what people have to say. Perfecting a product or service comes after an extraordinary amount of feedback has been collected. If entrepreneurs wait until they’ve perfected their product before releasing it they’ll be waiting forever.
Research has shown that one of the biggest factors in predicting success in individuals is grit – a stick-to-it attitude that keeps us working away long before a payoff. When companies pivot they’re not giving up on the company, they’re responding to the conditions outside their control – the market. It’s the same with your life.
“You could be a nurse or a teacher,” my mother says about college bound women of her generation. Sure there were exceptions, but the list of possible careers was extraordinarily limited compared to the options both men and women have today. With so many choices is it reasonable to expect we’d know what we wanted to do on our first try? Pivoting and trying something new is not giving up, it’s a demonstration to commitment – the commitment to find your right career fit.
Be honest about where you’re at when talking to others. “The thing I found I enjoyed most about sales was getting customer feedback. I’d like to combine that experience with my interest in big data and transition to marketing.” Frame your journey for what it is – your trajectory to your ideal career fit – and don’t be afraid of putting yourself out in the world before you’ve figured out exactly where you want to go.