The present is always a perfect time to think about your career, since for most of us we spend nearly 45% of our waking hours at work. Answering “what do I want to do next?” is a question for a recent graduate, someone who completed college three decades ago or anyone in between. To answer this question, here are three brief steps that can put you on the path to career fulfillment.


Pose these questions to you that a prospective employer might ask:

  1. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  2. Why do you want to leave your current employer?

The first question compels you to carefully consider what you want to be doing in 5 years. Do you want to be earning enough money to fund a major philanthropic project, or be in a position financially to travel internationally? Is your desire to climb the corporate ladder to a management position, or would you prefer to be running your own company?

The second question provides insight into the challenges of your current position. If the reason you’re seeking another opportunity is to escape current work stressors, consider instead the root cause of these stressors. Is it the environment? Is it the commute? Is it your manager? Whatever you discover, carefully consider your needs.


Inspiration can come from many different areas of life, both internally and externally. Before leaving your current position, identify a purpose that is bigger than you.

  • What are your goals?
  • What do you value?
  • 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 as yours or in a different one in which you’d like to be.
  3. Talk with friends and family. 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.


Before leaving your job, taking steps to fully understand what you really want is important. Aside from conversation and introspection, there are many things you can do to help you 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 graduate school, technical school, additional training, starting your own business, taking on a second job, or any other idea you can muster.
  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.

These are the keys to discovering your next career move. Spend time in introspection, find your inspiration, and take action to figure out what you really desire and want to do. You’ll be well on your way to a purposeful career.

Need help navigating the career waters? Book a call here: Career Clarity Please!