"I Need a Career Change but Have No Idea What to Do Next. Now What?"
Now what

"I Need a Career Change but Have No Idea What to Do Next. Now What?"

Welcome to our new monthly advice column, Now What? Each month our columnist Tori will unpack a different career dilemma from our community and she’ll bring on a few friendly faces from her network to contribute their wisdom too. 

About Tori

Tori Lazar is a creative business consultant and leadership coach for purpose-driven brands, creators, and leaders. She recently founded the creative leadership coaching studio, How to Fck Up Well. She also serves as the Director of Biz Dev & Partnerships for Female Startup Club, as well as an advisor to Black Girl Magik. Through her work, Tori aims to destigmatize failure and redefine it as an opportunity for growth.

I need a career change but have no idea what to do next. Now what?

Q: "Do you have any advice on changing industries a couple of years into your career? Particularly, on how to find something better suited for you. I don’t know what areas I would like to work in, I just know what I’m currently in isn’t it."


I won’t sugarcoat it. Career pivots are unsettling. You’re willingly entering the unknown to pursue a more fulfilling life and better use of your time and skill set. But, as a self-proclaimed pivot aficionado, I can tell you the scary bits are 1000 percent worth the knowledge you gain about yourself in the process. I’ve pivoted at least three times in my ten-year career. (Who’s counting?!) I never regret betting on myself, and neither should you.

Here’s how to pivot with purpose.

Context Card

Let’s start by taking a look at where your situation sits in the grand scheme of things.

  • 52 percent of Gen-Zers and Millennials are pivoting their careers, and are more likely to do so than previous generations.
  • Only 14 percent of the workforce believes their job is a great fit for them, and 70 percent are actively looking for a career change.
  • 53 percent of Americans who quit during the 2021 “Great Reshuffle” took it as an opportunity to change their profession.
  • Women are more likely to pivot than men, and they’re better at it.

Conclusion: This is becoming the norm, and that’s comforting to know. You’re part of a community of women transcending traditional career paths. There’s no time like the present.

Gut Check

It’s essential to go deep and understand why a career pivot is necessary for your growth before you take action.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Why did you choose your current industry and profession in the first place? Be honest. Don’t shy away from hard truths like familial or societal expectations.
  • Why don’t you feel the job is the best match for you? Assess the misalignments across three categories: skill set, interests, and values.
  • Why haven’t you made the change yet? Get cozy with the thoughts keeping you up at night–a.k.a. your biggest fears, assumptions, and limiting beliefs.

Take your time and write your responses down in a journal (or type them in Notion if you’re like me and prefer a digital home for your thoughts). Reflect on them. Does this reinforce the need to switch industries? Or could you make a lateral move to another department at your current company? Assess your options when making a big decision like this.

Action Items

Once you’ve looked inward and feel passionate about moving forward, follow this four-step process to set your career pivot in motion.

Identify what fuels vs. depletes you.

Your zone of genius lies in the work and activities that excite and come naturally to you. Let's get you closer to unlocking this in your next role while making the most of the time you have left in your current role. List 3-5 examples of work or activities that excite you more than exhaust you, and vice versa. Then, list 3-5 proposed ideas or solutions for doing more of what fuels you and less of what depletes you in your current role. Carry these learnings and boundaries into your next role.

Use job crafting to discover your new career path.

Job crafting is a relatively new tactic for increasing happiness and the ability to thrive at work. Ask yourself the following questions: Why are you motivated to pivot? What are your ideal job tasks, interpersonal interactions, and perceptions of work? How do they collectively produce outcomes that support your professional and personal growth? Based on your findings, create a fck yes list of potential professions and a fck no list. Knowing what won’t serve your purpose is equally important as knowing what will.

Find relatable reference points and role models.

It’s time to flex your LinkedIn sleuthing muscles. Research other perceivably successful women within your target profession(s). Study their education, certifications, experience, testimonials, how they talk about what they do, or anything else at your disposal. Identify your shared soft and hard skills. Note prerequisites that might be required for you to pivot. A corporate lawyer may never think a pivot to the beauty industry is possible without reading this story first. Finding relatable role models (even if from afar) is powerful and provides clues for working your way into a new career path.

Speak your new career path into existence.

By now, you’ve made progress demystifying your next move. You need to try it on for size and share the idea with others to pulse-check and perfect your pitch. Start with your inner circle or hype club. (Need a hype woman? DM me.) Harness that initial confidence boost to broaden your reach. Got a previous boss or colleague that you loved working with? Remember those role models you just found? Reach out, communicate your admiration for them, and ask to hop on a quick call (i.e., 15-30 minutes) because you value their perspective on this new venture. Keep it concise. Intentional communication is the key to unlocking opportunity.


Mastering the art of a career pivot takes patience, adaptability, and resilience. Progress can be hard to track, but here are two realistic ways to keep your momentum toward change.

  • Try to have one conversation a week about the pivot with new or current network connections. Keep a running document with helpful takeaways or introductions made. Watch your wisdom and community grow. (This is what I did when I got laid off from my job in tech and decided to pivot to leadership coaching. Trust me, it works.)
  • Invest in certifications or courses that build transferrable soft and hard skills to take with you on your new career path. Doing something with a clear start and finish is a reassuring boost of confidence when you’re in career limbo. (P.S. If it comes with a $ cost, check your current employee benefits package to see if you have a professional development stipend or ask your manager. Pursuing growth on your employer's dime is OK.)

Just for Fun

Read, watch, or listen to these pieces of content to get inspired.

That’s all from me. You got this.