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Position, Pivot and Pitch: How To Talk About What You Want Next

Many people are worried about how they talk about their current employment situation. This ranges from “I just got laid off, how do I talk about this?” to “I’ve been away from paid work for 7+ years and I don’t even know where to start!”

Especially right now, with a recession looming, job cuts, and a stalled return to work for millions of American women due to childcare shortfalls, figuring out what to say in a professional and positive manner is especially challenging. And, people don’t have a lot of time.

To help you, Back to Business recommends you tell people what you’ve been doing, and what you want next. So, you need a short description of yourself that explains your background in a way that any listener can understand what you’re looking for in a short period of time.

Our short, effective formula is Position, Pivot and Put it Together and Pitch.

Position your situation. Very briefly, you want to tell people what you’ve been doing. And by brief, we mean 1-2 sentences.

  • Career Break might look like this “I loved my time as a marketer at company X. I then took a 5 year break to care for my young family.”

  • RIF or Layoff “ I learned so much in my time at the company, including X. Recently I was part of a corporate restructuring.”


This is where you turn to the future. It boils down to what’s next for you in an ideal scenario. You can say:

  • Career Break “I’m looking to return to my marketing roots.” Or if you are looking for something different, “I want to build on my career as a marketer and explore direct customer service.”

  • RIF or Layoff “ I want to build on my skills in a similar capacity in the same industry.”

  • If you’re still searching for what’s next it’s perfectly acceptable to say “I’m exploring my next steps.”

Put It Together and Pitch: All you want to do is tell a simple story to get a conversation going about your future employment. These are pitches used by past Back to Business clients.

  • “I successfully launched an academic based non-profit. Now I’m looking for my next opportunity, leveraging my operations and broad organizational skills”

  • “I took a 5 year break to care for my small children and elderly parents. Now, I’m ready to get back to work.”

  • “I’m looking for roles that leverage my philanthropy and fundraising skills.”

That’s it! The temptation is to provide more detail. The reality is people just need a fast way to characterize you and your skills as a way to get you to your next destination. For more help, our book and eLearning course walks you through the pitch steps in full detail.

The back to work process continues to be intimidating! But it doesn’t have to be. The Swing Shift offers a range of products, services, and community that will get you back on track, from self-guided programming to 1:1 engagement.


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