Three Steps to Discovering Your Next Big Career Move

Getting bored with your current career and wondering “What do I do now?” or “Where do I go next?”

Well, taking the time to do some introspection can help you answer those questions.

Here are a few ways to get started on that journey.

Step 1: Talk to Yourself Like an Interviewer

Ask yourself some of the same questions that a potential employer might ask, such as:

* Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

* Why do you want to leave your current employer?

The first question forces you to genuinely consider what you want in the future.

  • Do you want to be making enough money to travel the world?
  • Do you want to be in upper management?
  • Do you want to be running your own company?

The second question gives you some insight into the difficulties and challenges of your current employment.

If the reason you’re seeking other employment is to run away from current work stressors, consider the root cause of these stressors.

Where is the disconnect? Is it the environment, management, the work itself or the team.

Step 2: Find Your Inspiration

Inspiration can come from many different areas of life, both internally and externally.

Before jumping ship from your current job, find a purpose that’s bigger than you. 

* What are your goals?

* What do you want to stand for or live for?

* What are your passions? 

Try these techniques to find your inspiration:

1. Reflect.

Spend some time in quiet solitude, meditating on your purpose in life, going for a long car ride and considering your future, or talking with friends and those who know you best.

2. Look at others whom you admire.

Who do you look up to? Why?

Read stories of successful individuals who are in the same career field or one you would like to explore.

3. Talk with your mentors.

The conversation, however, needs to go beyond the simple question of what you should do with your life.

Ask for advice on how others have figured out where they’re moving in their career and figure out how you can use their advice to chart your own territory.

Step 3: Take Action 

Before you quit your job, taking steps to drill down into what you really want is important.

Aside from conversation and introspection, there are many things you can do to figure out your next career move:

1. Brainstorm.

Come up with a list of ideas about how you can advance your career or move up the ladder.

Consider grad school, additional training, starting your own business, taking on a second job, or any other ideas that will get you moving in a new direction.

2. Go on job interviews.

Applying to jobs before you’re ready to make the jump can serve a valuable purpose.

You’ll learn about what values, characteristics, and criteria you’re seeking.

In addition, these interviews can help prepare you to convey your own experience and assets to others.

3. Volunteer or do side work.

Find an organization that might allow you to get your feet wet by volunteering or taking on side work.

You’ll gain valuable experience and also be able to generate a list of your likes and dislikes for your next position.

There is not one single avenue to finding out what is next, but stepping outside your comfort zone to try new things is a great way to start!