I am thinking using PERMAH and the Character Strengths to analyze information to help guide big life changes is one way to approach making a pivot. I used the following information to write a Google Doc PERMAH Pivot Plan that you can copy and adapt to your needs.
This template plan is written for individuals and families who are planning to make big changes in their lives. It is especially provided for international educators looking at moving to a new school/country or returning to their home country. The first part of the process is to review how you are using your Character Strengths to engage within the PERMAH pillars. The second part is to decide what you would like your Character Strengths and PERMAH profile to look like either in your new school/country and or after you make another type of pivot.
The pivoting process starts by gathering information about oneself to build a personal profile of interests, talents, CliftonStrengths, Character Strengths and efforts to live the PERMAH pillars. You can of course reflect and add other aspects of who you and/or your family is to your profile. You can find several books to help you with this process. Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next by Jenny Blake is a helpful one.
Jenny uses her Pivot Method (podcast interview) to take you through the process of understanding what you currently have going on for yourself to then design a plan for where you want to go with your pivot. The following are the main adapted components of her method (source) applied through a Positive Psychology perspective. You can of course read Jenny’s book and use the resources at her website to go through her pivot process in tandem with this one.
- What’s Your Pivot Profile? Use the PERMAH Today chart below.
- Plant: Harness your strengths, double down on what’s already working, and set a clear vision.
- Scan: Compare where you are now and where you want to end up.
- Pilot: Small experiments to reduce risk and test new ideas.
- Launch: When to pull the trigger and go all in.
Step 1: Your Pivot Profile. Use the PERMAH Today chart below to list how you are currently living within the PERMAH pillars. This means listing what actions you are taking and which Character Strengths you are engaging within each pillar along with your interests, talents and CliftonStrengths in how they support your growth within each PERMAH category.
Your PERMAH Today>
Step 2: Plant. Be very intentional about living the profile you just listed. Then reflect about what you would like your Pivot Profile to look like once you make your pivot (change). Use your profile to expand your vision beyond what you are currently doing. Look for new possibilities in how you might live your life and hopefully thrive. Make a list of possibilities around where you might be pivoting to (i.e., employment, residence, personal growth goals…). Complete the PERMAH Your Hopes for After the Pivot chart below. The chart can be the vision of what you want your life to look like after the pivot.
Step 3: Scan. Put on your research cap to gather information about each of the possibilities that you listed. For international educators this takes the form of using resources like job placement companies, school/country review sites and making connections to educators through online groups to create profiles of schools and countries. Use the chart below to review how the new country/school and/or other life change might support or not your new PERMAH profile.
Step 4: Pilot. When possible, try out some of the possible pivots that you listed. International educators can travel to potential schools/countries but this might not work due to costs and the competitive nature of international recruiting (i.e., who knows where your next school might be). But you can pilot other possible changes within your current school by working with administration to get a taste for leadership and/or new teaching roles.
Step 5: Launch. Decide when to make the pivot and do so. Use the chart below to compare each of your possible choices.
This is especially applicable for international educators. An example is that you have offers from two schools. Both are pretty similar in helping you live the PERMAH profile you designed. However, one has extreme air pollution and the other doesn’t. You list under the pillar of Health your ongoing interest in running, biking and playing ultimate frisbee. You also list the Character Strengths of Leadership and Teamwork with your desire to form an ultimate frisbee league in your new location. This information probably can help you make the final decision in which school to sign with. 🙂
Your PERMAH After the Pivot>
Photo by Julien Flutto on Unsplash