When I decided it was time to change my career, I read several books and websites about career change to help me get clear on how to transition to a new career. Part of the process was doing some self-reflection to think about what I didn’t like about my current career and what I wanted from my new career.  You can either do this on your own, or with the help of a friend or coach.  Here are some questions that have helped me and my clients:

What are you interested in?

  • What are your favourite activities or hobbies?
  • What subjects do you enjoy discussing with friends?
  • What subjects do you enjoy reading about (online, or in books or magazines)?
  • What kind of TV shows or movies do you like the most? Why?
  • What workshops or seminars have you enjoyed going to?
  • What subjects did you enjoy in school?
  • What activities are you doing when you lose track of time?
  • What gives you joy or makes you feel excited?

What are your strengths and skills? Weaknesses?

  • What traits do you have (honest, reliable, approachable, etc.)?
  • What skills do you have (communication, organization, negotiation, persuasive ability, etc.)?
  • What have bosses, co-workers and friends complimented you on in the past?
  • What have people criticized you about in the past?
  • What do you friends say are your strengths & weaknesses (ask them!)?

What was best and worst about your past jobs?

  • What did you like most about your past jobs?
  • What did you like least about your past jobs?

What working conditions do you want for your next job? How important is each?

  • Which days and hours of work would you like?
  • What location (distance from home, proximity to things to do at lunch, gym, etc.)
  • Do you want a desk job or a job where you are moving around? Inside or outside?
  • What type of people do you want to work with? Lots of people contact or a little?
  • What kind of company is the best fit (values, size, private vs government, etc.)?

Dream with me now…

  • What would you be doing (how would you spend your time) three years after you won $10 million?
  • Is there anything you wanted to do as a child that still appeals to you?
  • What would you do for a career if anything was possible (no money, time or age constraints)?
  • How can you best contribute to the world, using your unique abilities and interests?
  • What would you like to accomplish before you die?

From the above information, make a list of at least 3 possible careers and then research them.