Why Adding Value Is a Surefire Way to Pivot

I recently chatted with Maren Ziobrowski, head of podcasts at Whipclip. I’ve know Maren since before her podcasting days, when her focus was on email and retention. Knowing that she’s the kind of person who won’t do anything haphazardly, she pivoted in less than a year. Read on and find out how she did it and how you can do it too — even if your timeline is not as tight.

Do you think the majority of professionals know their true worth? How did you come to truly owning yours?
I don’t believe that the majority of professionals, particularly women, know their true worth. I think years of the trials and tribulations of work can wear a person down, making them question their abilities and value. As it relates to me, I think I’m still discovering my worth. I spent 11 years climbing the ranks in marketing. And then one day I was asked if I wanted to do something else. So now it’s time to prove myself all over again and figure out my value and where I can add value.

You just “pivoted” career-wise? How did it happen?
As part of a company-wide initiative, I was asked, with a co-worker, to pitch an idea for original content related to TV. TV and pop culture are my passion, so this was right up my alley. We pitched a podcast called Fangirl Fridays that got approved. After creating more than 13 successful episodes, I was approached by our executive team to build out an entire network of TV-focused podcasts to align with our business objectives. So in less than six months I went from running marketing to doing a podcast on the side to now running our podcast division.

Is such a big change scary? How do you manage the unknown?
For me the change wasn’t scary. After years of doing various iterations of the same thing, I was excited to take what I’d learned and apply it to a new challenge. I also pride myself on being a “builder.” I love to make something out of nothing, so I was more pumped than scared. However, I’ve never done this before! To manage the unknown, I make sure to set expectations up front and then lay out a plan for how I think I’m going to achieve this goal. You can’t control the unknown, but you can control your organization, preparation and hustle!

You and I have talked about it just being a matter of time for any one individual to be out of a job — at least once in their life. How do you prepare for it and how would you advise others to prep for it?
I think you’re actually the master of this, but, first of all, maintain your network! It’s important to cultivate those relationships and continue to keep in contact with people you enjoyed working with in the past and would want to work with again. That way, if something happens, you’re not contacting them out of the blue. Second, keep learning. If you continue to develop your skill set, it keeps you fresh and in a better position were something to happen. Third, accept those recruiter invites on LinkedIn, even if you’re not looking. They can be invaluable when the time is right.

Why do you think you’ve found success in your career?
It’s threefold. First, I’ve surrounded myself with people much smarter than me, who care about what they do and what they create. Second, I’ve hired excellent individuals who, because of their talents and skills, have made me look better through their success. And third, I want to be successful. I take pride in being a professional and doing good work, and it matters to me that others share this belief.