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Career Choice and Change

Throughout your career, you will make decisions about moving up or laterally within your company, taking on new assignments to expand your skill set and visibility, executing an external job search, moving into a new industry, seeking a new career, launching a business and planning for retirement.

First, take stock of yourself. The best career choices match closely with who you are as a professional and as a person. Instead of looking solely at the work world and job market, look inward and assess your skills, interests and values.

Identify themes or patterns and differentiate between what you are good at and enjoy. Approach this process through self-directed self-assessment and reflection and formal assessment instruments. Formal assessments can compare your profile to people in career fields and industries to find areas of alignment, which can indicate career areas where you are more likely to find satisfaction.

The 3 elements of career choice

  1. Skills | What you are good at
    Innate talents and aptitudes as well as capabilities you have developed. Areas of expertise and knowledge fit this category.
  2. Interests | What you like to do
    Activities and tasks you like to engage in, as well as the kinds of knowledge you enjoy working with.
  3. Values | What is important to you
    Life priorities might include personal values and social issues, as well as lifestyle preferences, earnings and corporate culture.

Perform due diligence to find the career/functional areas, industries and roles that most closely fit your needs. Do research to find out as much as you can about your options so you can you make decisions with clarity and confidence.

Assess yourself and your options.

Break down your options into simple categories: staying in your current role, shifting into a new role, moving to a new company, changing industries or some combination. Consider how you are feel about your current role, level and company and what would motivate you to make a change. What do you want to move towards and away from?

Career research

Perform due diligence to determine which options are truly worth pursuing. You can learn a lot before pursuing a new opportunity. Be open-minded and realistic when evaluating your options.

Target your options.

Once you have gathered information from varied sources, narrow your list of options. Look for trends and patterns. If you have completed experiential research, such as contract or volunteer work, consider what you liked most and least about your experiences and why. You might reconnect with people you interviewed to clarify your findings and ask questions .

Now, what do you still need to know to determine whether each option is worth pursuing? Where might you find this information?

Create a more focused list of the careers that continue to interest you. What do you still need to know to determine whether each one is worth pursuing? Where can you find this information? You might want to arrange additional Career & Leadership coaching to discuss your findings, clarify your thoughts and feelings about each option, and make a choice that is right for you.