Figuring Out Your Next Career Move

No matter your age, figuring out your next career move is always for the birds. It is stressful and full of many "what ifs". You will have times that sink to the pit of your stomach because starting something new, whether at the same company, moving on or starting something on your own is unknown, and the unknown is frightening. While anxiety will always exist when you make a move, there are some techniques and tips you can use to help you figure out what to do next.

1. Plan Your Ideal Day.
A simple way to start finding out your next career move is to grill yourself with an ideal day questionnaire.

Where do you want to go when you start your day?
Who do you want around you?
Are you doing the same thing every day?
Are you working on short-term projects?
Do you want to juggle multiple hats?

Figuring out what is the perfect workday without anyone else's input is the first step in knowing which way to move your career.

2. A Happiness List
Because an ideal day may not always come to fruition, it is crucial to build a happiness list around your perfect day. What will make the tough times bearable? Is it the hours you work? The co-workers you have? The culture and growth opportunities? Rank each piece of your ideal day, find the top three and use that to your advantage. 

3. Not Worth It List
In addition to your happiness list, a not worth it record is imperative. What are your deal breakers? List your top three. If you don't want to work weekends, that is ok. If you don't want to work in a corporate atmosphere, that is ok. Figuring out what you won't bend on will only enhance your happiness and help you find the right next move.

4. Start The Transition Now
Starting to transition now doesn't mean you have to quit your current job or apply for 100 jobs you know you won't like. It means you should look into the future and see your ultimate goal and breakdown how to get there. Are you a photographer who wants to shoot for magazines, but you don't have any editorial style photos? You should probably start working on that. Are you someone who wants to work in a leadership role, but you haven't learned about the vast array of workplace personalities? Start reading and learning about them to be prepared. 

and lastly...

5. Know you may not choose right.
If you have made a move into something new, and you are not feeling that you belong or love what you are doing, it is ok. You haven't wasted anything or lost anything. In fact, you usually learn the most significant lessons when you make a wrong decision. 

Take one step at a time. Making a career move is daunting and can take longer than you think. You do not have to know which step is supposed to come next. Take each moment as it comes and feel empowered that you haven't given up on ambition and growth.