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Why the Industry’s 2020 Buzzword 'Pivot' Provides Food for Thought

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Don't lose sight of the present and be comfortable in simply going with the flow, writes Tag EMEA's Jonny Hall

Why the Industry’s 2020 Buzzword 'Pivot' Provides Food for Thought

If I’m honest, I fell into the advertising industry by accident. I realise there is a fine line between an inability to plan and having the confidence to just go with the flow, but in recent years I feel as if I have consciously leaned towards the latter. This is an approach that has taken me in new, exciting and wholly unexpected directions. 

So, the resurgence of the new industry buzzword, ‘pivot’, put a smile on my face, with businesses scrambling to adjust and only now, beginning to shine a spotlight on growing and changing for the better in response to Covid-19. But, with all this change, isn’t it more important than ever to think about ourselves, especially in a time where we are all being challenged to adapt personally to changing working environments?


Boast not, want not.

During our lifetimes, we will all inevitably face pressure, both at home and in the workplace - to do the ‘right thing’ or take the ‘next step’. But, who decides what’s best for you and at what cost? We all need to be unapologetic in putting ourselves first. 

For me, this began before I even entered the workplace, when at university the barometer of success was landing a job in a company boasting a spot on the Forbes’ ‘Top Brand List’; anything less was seen as sub-par. In search of acceptance from my course peers and like the sheep I was at the time, I heaped unnecessary pressure on myself to match their achievements in preparation for a life after education. 

 

Carpe Diem

The best things in life are often unexpected. So even with the best laid career plans, it is about grabbing opportunities as they arise, even if they don’t present themselves as we originally thought they would. 

Sitting down with the family to announce my next role was in logistics as part of DHL’s supply chain, I was met with a mixture of confusion and consternation. “DHL, the parcel delivery service? The ones that bring our wine?” “That’s the one!”. Whist logistics were not necessarily the lighter fluid to my advertising career, it was a time I embraced. Thoroughly enjoyable, it gave me an appreciation of an industry full of incredible people from diverse backgrounds, matched with exceptionally clever work processes; an experience I still benefit from today and would have never gained had I simply said no because it didn’t fit ‘the plan’. 

 

Trust the process

I’m not suggesting never plan. But planning to within an inch of your life in search of the perfect fit, in a world where such an accommodation rarely exists, can be limiting, even paralysing. 

Twelve months ago it happened to me. Unusually, I’d made plans for the future and put in motion a move to Australia. Before I knew it, I was sitting in an empty flat surrounded by packing cases and making my emotional farewells. Unfortunately, Covid didn’t get the memo, and as you can probably guess, my plans were put on hold. Nine months on and with still no visa, most of my family, friends and colleagues tiptoe around the topic and feel the need to offer sympathy anytime it’s discussed. Of course, it’s disappointing and I am now in desperate need of a tan; but remaining in the UK longer than I originally planned has brought with it new and exciting opportunities which I continue to embrace. 


So, what am I trying to say here? I guess it’s this:

Making choices in an uncertain world is difficult at the best of times. Many I know have used this period during the pandemic to take a step back, reflect and perhaps pivot, for the first time, considering their work life balance along with their aspirations and ambitions. While such reflection is necessary and energising in re-focusing goals, my preference remains not to lose sight of the present along with all it potentially has to offer and instead, be comfortable in simply going with the flow. 



Jonny Hall is a growth director at Tag EMEA

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Tag, Tue, 15 Dec 2020 09:02:49 GMT