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Your Next Big Career Move Should Be Smaller Than You Think

Source |FastCompany : By LAURA VANDERKAM

You’re feeling stuck at work. You know you should figure out what you want to be doing with your life, but the idea of changing jobs—let alone careers—seems so overwhelming that it’s hard to start.

The solution? Think smaller. Much smaller. It’s time to try some career pilot projects.

That’s the advice from Jenny Blake, who cocreated Google’s Career Guru coaching program when she worked there from 2006 to 2011. Blake is also author of the new book Pivot. “A lot of people think of career moves as these big jumps from one rung on the ladder to the next,” she tells Fast Company. Just as television networks order pilot episodes of multiple new shows before they commit to a lineup, you can test small “pilots” in your life to see how they go.


The first step, she says, is to ask yourself: “What are small experiments I can run right now that will not drastically shift my day-to-day life, but involve skills, or test a new hypothesis of something I’m interested in?”

Perhaps you’ve occasionally had visions of writing a book on a favorite topic. Before you quit your job and spend the next two years researching it, you could test out the main idea by writing a guest post for a friend’s blog. You could write an article for a more serious industry publication. You could give a speech on the topic at a local networking event. You could lead a series of brown-bag lunch seminars at your workplace on the topic and ask what people think.

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