The 4 steps that helped Ina Garten, a former mayor, and a Home Shopping Network star pull off transformational career pivots

Portrait of USA Today Editor in Chief Joanne Lipman on purple background.
Author and former USA Today Editor in Chief Joanne Lipman.
Courtesy of Joanne Lipman

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Outdoor Voices’ founder is embarking on a blockchain venture, states are stocking up on abortion pills, and we hear from Joanne Lipman about her book on changing careers. Happy Thursday!

Reinvention roadmap. During the COVID lockdown three years ago, I became fascinated by the idea of purpose and reinvention. I decided to explore the idea of the “new normal” so many of us sought out in our personal and professional lives in my new book Next! The Power of Reinvention in Life and Work.

I asked the hundreds of people I interviewed to walk me through their transitions and analyzed the trajectories of even more. What’s remarkable is, almost all went through the same set of four stages, what I call a Reinvention Roadmap: Search-Struggle-Stop-Solution.

“Next!: The Power of Reinvention in Life and Work” by Joanne Lipman
Courtesy of Mariner Books

Some switched careers, like Ina Garten, who was a nuclear budget analyst before becoming the Barefoot Contessa, and Jane Veron, who left the corporate world to raise her daughters, then reemerged as a nonprofit CEO and mayor of Scarsdale, N.Y. Others came back from trauma, like terror attack survivor Kay Wilson, or from failure, like Marla Ginsburg, who after being fired from her executive job reinvented herself as a Home Shopping Network star and designer of the MarlaWynne clothing line. Kathryn Finney went from an epidemiologist to the “Budget Fashionista” blogger to an investor in Black-owned startups. Trial lawyer Joanne Lee Molinaro is now a TikTok phenom known as the Korean Vegan.

Typically, each pivot begins with a search to gather information, often unintentionally, without knowing where it will lead. Then comes an uncomfortable, often miserable, middle period of struggle when you’re disconnecting from your previous identity but haven’t figured out the new one. That often doesn’t end until you reach a stop—whether you choose a break (like quitting a job) or one is forced on you (like getting laid off). Only then do you have the perspective to synthesize all of your previous experiences and ideas and to emerge with the solution.

Perhaps it’s human nature, but we tend to focus on just the first and last steps, ignoring the messy struggle in the middle. We’re held captive by the Cinderella myth, the idea that these transformations are abrupt and happen overnight. Yet the struggle isn’t just necessary; in virtually every arena of transformation, it’s the key to finding a solution.

Those I interviewed outlined about a dozen strategies to successfully navigate through the stages of the Reinvention Roadmap. They emphasized the importance of finding an “expert companion”—a coach or family member or friend—who can give an objective view of your talents and skills. They also advised reaching out to dormant and weak ties to network and to take a break; showering, sleeping, exercising, and cleaning can all lead to good ideas.

One of the most heartening revelations from my research, though, is that you’re almost certainly farther along than you realize toward your next act. Those I spoke with described what I call the “move before you move” approach: they took incremental steps, typically unintentionally, long before they realized it would lead to a pivot.

It’s an empowering realization and one that should help you take control of your own future. You’re more prepared than you know. Even if we’re not quite sure where we’re going, we are already on our way to getting there.

Joanne Lipman is the author of Next! The Power of Reinvention in Life and Work.

The Broadsheet is Fortune’s newsletter for and about the world’s most powerful women. Today’s edition was curated by Kinsey Crowley. Subscribe here.


- Abortion pill debate. A federal appeals court has ruled that mifepristone can remain on the market for now, partially overturning a Texas order invalidating the abortion pill's FDA approval. At the same time, the Fifth Circuit judges blocked the drug from being sent through the mail and invited plaintiffs in the Texas suit to challenge steps the FDA has taken since 2016 to ease access to the pill. Meanwhile, some states are stockpiling another abortion pill, misoprostol, in case it's soon the only way to administer medical abortions.

- Surging shares. Weight Watchers parent company WW International saw shares skyrocket nearly 60% on Tuesday after the deal to acquire telehealth company Sequence closed. (The stock fell 1% Wednesday.) Weight Watchers, led by CEO Sima Sistani, bought Sequence, which connects patients to weight-loss drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy, to round out its weight-loss programs. Forbes

- Under pressure. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) asked to step down from the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, a concession to fellow Democrats who are calling for her to resign as she recovers from shingles. The 89-year-old has been absent from the Senate since February, cramping Democrats' progress on judicial nominations. New York Times

- Closing shop. UPS, led by CEO Carol Tomé, is laying off workers at a subsidiary acquired in 2017, Sandler Travis Trade Advisory Services, due to slowing global demand. The company was part of the global supply chain solutions arm of UPS. Supply Chain Dive

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Claire Borelli has been promoted to chief people officer at TIAA. P&G appointed Sheila Bonini from World Wildlife Fund to the board of directors. Nancy Coleman will be the new SVP of corporate communications at DigitalOcean. 


- Her story. WNBA player Brittney Griner is working on a memoir about being detained in a Russian prison, which she called "an unfathomable period" in her life. She hopes the book will raise awareness for other Americans detained abroad, including Wall Street Journal journalist Evan Gershkovich who was recently arrested in Russia and accused of espionage. The Athletic

- Digital community. Ousted Outdoor Voices' founder and CEO Ty Haney's next act is in blockchain; it overlaps with a key pillar of the athletic apparel company. Try Your Best is a Web3 community management platform that aims to let brands track community engagement and harness it for growth. Community buy-in was critical for the rapid growth of Outdoor Voices. Retail Brew

- Due diligence. Venture capitalist Kristina Simmons says investors need to spend more time with founders and understand their values and ethics following a streak of high-profile founders facing fraud charges. The veteran of a16z and Khosla Ventures suggests investors get away from presentation-driven conversations and ask nonlinear questions to see how specific the founder is able to get. Fortune 


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Confessions on Jessie Ware's dance floor Vulture

San Francisco Mayor London Breed on the city’s troubles—and hopes Wired

Mass tech layoffs means loss of diversity and inclusivity in the workforce Crunchbase


"It wasn’t easy. But boy (and girl!) was it worth it."

—Actress Hillary Swank, who gave birth to twins at 48 years old

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