SelectOne Blog

Embracing the Pivot


As a CPA who formerly worked at a Big-Four public accounting firm I often managed large amounts of client data displayed in Excel. As a means to reorganize and summarize selected data in a spreadsheet, without actually changing any of the data, I used a tool called “pivot tables.”

It was during these tedious tasks that I often found myself wondering how I had ended up in my current position and what choices I had made along the way that had lead me there. Hadn’t I wanted this career? Hadn’t I actively pursued a Big-Four firm and those three precious little letters that follow my last name? Would I ever escape the exercise of scrolling through these seemingly endless spreadsheets and all these pivot tables?

By definition the word pivot, means “the central point, pin, or shaft on which a mechanism turns or oscillates.” 

To me pivot meant turning and moving data in order to display information in a desired way, and moving on to my next task.  But in a broader sense, pivot meant changing the direction in which I was moving as a person.  Over the past year, I learned to embrace the pivot, that is, I looked at the data displayed in front of me and the trajectory that my career was on and would continue to move in, and I pivoted. I manipulated my personal data, my education, credentials, and work experience and decided to change it in a way that more accurately displayed my personality and career ambitions.

I now work as a recruiter, and get to use my personal data, or knowledge and experiences within the accounting and finance industry every day in a way that better suits my personality, and what I want my personal pivot table to look like.  While changing jobs (or careers in my case) can certainly be challenging, embracing the career change, or pivot, has made all the difference between scrolling through excel on an everyday basis to doing something I love; helping people like you make the next move in your career by embracing the pivot.

I learned that it is never too late, or in my case too early, to pivot your career.  All too often employees stay in their current position because it is familiar and comfortable, without considering what other potential opportunities might be available.  I get it, change is hard and for the most part scary but more importantly, necessary.

While the saying, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone,” always seemed a little too melodramatic for my analytical personality, I now am learning it to be true.  However, don’t just take my word for it. If you need more analytical proof that change and variation in your career can lead to your greatest benefit, just look at your desktop. You might just find a practical pivot table and who knows, your new career might just be a few clicks away.


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