Is It Time for a Career Pivot?

Today’s guest author is Mark Hopkins. Mark spent twenty-five years deciphering the factors that make some people prosperous, successful and happy. After building a leadership career with companies like Hewlett Packard and Emerson Electric, he founded Peak Industries, a medical device contract manufacturer, which he grew to $75 million and later sold to Delphi. He is the author of Shortcut to Prosperity: 10 Entrepreneurial Habits and a Roadmap For An Exceptional Career.

Mark HopkinsConsidering an opportunity and not sure if you should pursue it?

This happens to most of us every day. For the big ones—a new job, a promotion, the opportunity to start a company—think like an entrepreneur and take the time to assess using the following criteria:

Differentiation: Whether you are looking at a new job or starting a new company, does the opportunity allow you to differentiate yourself through your knowledge, skills, talents, passions, or other attributes?

Scalability: Can it lead to dramatic growth? With respect to an offer of employment, is it likely to lead to greater opportunity in the future? A high paying job with no opportunity for advancement or learning isn’t as appealing as a lower paying job that puts you on a path of career growth. If it’s an idea for a new business or a new product or service to add in your company, how much growth can you expect from it in the future, not just the first year?

Barriers to entry: How hard is it for competitors to take advantage of the same opportunity? Do you have special knowledge, skills, or talents that allow you to exploit this opportunity more successfully than others?

Minimal risk: For offers of employment, look for the stability of the company behind the offer and the opportunity for growth and advancement. To minimize the risk of a start-up, look for opportunities that:

  • You can pursue while retaining your day job.
  • Require minimal start-up capital.
  • Are resistant to an economic downturn or changing consumer preference (fads).

If the opportunity in question scores well on these four criteria AND you don’t love what you are currently doing — by all means, check it out! 



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