The Impromptu Game Plan: The purposeful but also opportunistic career pivots of people like me – currently searching for an agent/publisher….
Small children are often asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Many of us said things like a firefighter, a doctor, a nurse, or a teacher; the careers path of Fisher-Price Little People toys. As children, we instinctively looked at the world around us and recognized the careers that made the world a better place. Our 5-year old selves didn’t dream of being paper pushers or spending our days doing data entry.
But we grow up. We realize that our possible career choices are more varied than the Little People options. People around us have expectations for us; we have expectations for ourselves. For most of us, academic challenges, financial needs, family obligations fill our adult lives.
COVID-19 lockdown caused many people to appreciate having more freedom and flexibility in their daily work lives. Beyond questions of work/life balance, people are questioning their relationship to work. Now that many of us can go back to the office and return to something like our pre-COVID lives, it turns out, many of us don’t want to. We’re echoing the conversations with our 5-year old selves and asking, “What do I want to be when I grow up?”
The Impromptu Game Plan will explore the career and life stories of people who’ve made pivots in their lives. Some of these pivots are by choice, sometimes as a reaction to opportunity or challenge (or both). But in all cases, they led to more meaningful careers that make the most of the person’s strengths and experiences. And most importantly, align their strengths and experiences to their passions and values.
Some people navigate life’s serendipity and challenges and survive, and even thrive, better than others. Each chapter pulls out of those stories some of the pivotal moments, mindsets, and behaviors to reflect on why this might be the case. We also draw out some common themes, mindsets, and behaviors of these stories. We used these to create a framework, our Storytelling Wheel of Reflection. Using our framework, readers will then have the tools to interrogate and reflect on their own stories.