An organized process of self-assessment is critical in planning a change in career fields, organizations and even positions. Before you launch your job search, take time to evaluate yourself. 

5 Areas to Examine

A career change is not a decision to take lightly. It should hinge on an honest review of who you are, where you've been and where you wish to go next. 

1. Inventory your interests.

Interests, quite simply, are the things you enjoy. They include the mental and physical activities that you find stimulating. Do you like working with data, or get your energy from working on a team? Some of these interests can be reflected in your hobbies and social activities. Most people find that job satisfaction is linked to interest.

2. Consider your values.

What is most important to you? Are there inherent values you build your life upon? Is it important that they are incorporated in your work and professional environment? Pursuing work congruent with your values is another driver of satisfaction.

3. Be honest about your needs.

What are your basic requirements for any career move? These factors should be carefully considered:

  • Salary
  • Geographic location
  • Flexible work hours
  • Commuting time

4. Survey your skills.

What are your key abilities, talents and strengths? Organizational skills, communication skills, writing and problem-solving are all highly desirable. Do you have the technical skills invaluable in your field? Review your accomplishments to determine what was critical to your success. This will help you market yourself in your search for a new opportunity.

5. Prioritize your personality.

The importance of “fit” in a position or organization cannot be underestimated. Personality qualities such decision-making style or what energizes a person vary widely and can lead to satisfaction in different working arenas. While an organization considers your fit, be sure to assess if they fit you.