Don't Fall Into This Career Changing Trap

01/18/2017 04:25 pm ET Updated Jan 19, 2018

What are the biggest mistakes people make when looking for new career opportunities? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

One of the biggest mistakes that pivoters make is jumping straight into scanning activities (looking for specific job opportunities) before really taking time to get clear on what I call the plant stage (think of a basketball player who has one foot firmly planted into the ground while scanning for passing options with the pivot foot).

The plant stage is about identifying known variables: in your experiences up until this point: What's working best? What are my biggest strengths? What are my values? Then look at your ideal state one year from now: What does success look like? What would I be thrilled to learn and become better at?

The more resonant your one-year vision (even if it seems vague at first), the more effective and efficient you will be at scanning for people, skills and projects that relate to it when it's time. Otherwise you'll make the same mistake I did: running around the basketball court without any grounding, thus dragging out your pivot much longer than necessary.

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