Pivoting with Purpose


How I Used Project Management to Strategically

Navigate Career Transitions



By Anna Ladipo, MBA, PMP®, CSM, FLMI

North Texas, USA


Navigating major career transitions requires a proactive approach to capitalize on new opportunities. My multi-hyphenate journey spanning consulting, corporate leadership, entrepreneurship and academia illustrates how a career in project management can systematically enable professional evolution.

This paper explores how professionals can utilize project management skills to facilitate strategic career pivots. Amidst the constantly evolving business environment and job market of today, being able to intentionally navigate transitions across industries and roles has become a crucial capability.

We will discuss how treating career shifts as defined projects with clear goals, timelines and success metrics can enable more deliberate development. The paper outlines my suggested best practices for utilizing project management tools and mindsets to systematically expand one’s professional repertoire over time.


In today’s business world and rapidly evolving job market, professionals face an increasing need to adapt and strategically navigate career transitions. Gone are the days of linear career paths and lifetime employment within a single organization, or static business models that last a lifetime. Instead, organizations and workers must proactively manage their businesses and careers, continuously innovating, acquiring new skills and exploring emerging opportunities to remain competitive.

This dynamic landscape necessitates a structured approach to innovative business and career development – one that enables organizations and professionals to systematically assess market trends, identify growth areas, and position themselves for evolving roles. Project management provides a compelling framework for facilitating these strategic business and career pivots, as exemplified by my personal journey.

In December 2013, I received unexpected news that my contract as an independent consultant at a large insurance company was ending in two weeks, this despite recent stellar performances on the project and assurances of a year-long extension. The abrupt change in my contract resulted from an acquisition and subsequent project cancellations that no longer aligned with the combined organization’s strategic objectives. Unknown to me at the time, this catalyst would spark my transformation into a multi-hyphenate professional, with project management playing an integral role.

In this paper, I will explore how I practically applied project management principles to enable more intentional career transitions, drawing from my personal experiences pivoting into entrepreneurship and academia.


To read entire paper, click here

Editor’s note: Second Editions are previously published papers that have continued relevance in today’s project management world, or which were originally published in conference proceedings or in a language other than English.  Original publication acknowledged; authors retain copyright.  This paper was originally presented at the 16th UT Dallas PM Symposium in May 2024.  It is republished here with the permission of the author and conference organizers.

How to cite this paper: Ladipo, A. (2024). Pivoting with Purpose: How I Used Project Management to Strategically Navigate Career Transitions; presented at the 16th University of Texas at Dallas Project Management Symposium in Richardson, TX, USA in May 2024; republished in the PM World Journal, Vol. XIII, Issue VII, July. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/pmwj143-Jul2024-Ladipo-pivoting-with-purpose-how-I-used-project-management.pdf

About the Author

Anna Ladipo

North Texas, USA


Anna Ladipo is an accomplished leader bridging IT consulting, academia, and entrepreneurship. With over 15 years of experience, she is a seasoned Senior IT consultant skilled in spearheading strategic projects and programs for Fortune 500 companies.

Beyond consulting, Anna excels across diverse roles including college/university professor, ecommerce business owner. She holds an MBA from Queen’s University along with esteemed credentials such as Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Scrum Master (CSM), and Fellow of Life Management Institute (FLMI).

As a multi-faceted professional, Anna brings proven excellence across project delivery, strategic execution, teaching, and social impact. Her blend of capabilities enables driving change across the intersections of tech, business, education, and advocacy. Anna thrives on empowering organizations, students, and communities to reach their highest potential.

Anna can be contacted at info@annaladipo.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/annaladipo

Website: https://www.annaladipo.com/