After you’ve been in the job market for a while, it’s not unusual to think about what it would be like to work in a different job, or at a different place, or even in a different career. After you’ve had some experience under your belt, you might be restless and looking for more of a challenge. Sometimes that means a new environment and other times it could mean trying out a whole new gig. Below are 5 questions that will prompt your thinking.

1-Why did I choose my current job? Figuring out how you got to where you are right now can be valuable. Does your job path, to this point, tell a solid career story? Can you tell why one job led to the next? If so, you may just be restless in your current job and need more challenge. If you find it hard to figure out how you got here, or the answer is “the money”, it may be time to look for a more fulfilling career.

2-What are my core values? Knowing what is truly important can help you figure out what type of work would be satisfying. Think about past successes you’ve had at work. What did you do and why were they so rewarding? Make note of what skills you used and what you loved doing.

3-Why do I want to leave my job? If you’re not happy in your current position, figure out whether it’s the career, the industry, or your job. Maybe the work itself has gone stale, or you are in a toxic office environment. Finding a similar job at another company may be your answer. You can keep using the skills and experience you’ve built and give yourself a fresh perspective.

4-What’s my mission? Asking yourself what you’re here on earth to do can sound a little daunting, or woo-woo. But if you find your current dissatisfaction has nothing to do with your job or career, a mission statement can help clarify things. One or two sentences about what makes you get out of bed in the morning just gives you more insight.

5-What does my perfect day/life look like? Go ahead and dream! Don’t limit yourself to what you currently do, or to your skills and experience. If time, talent, and money were no object, what would you do? How would you spend your days? Like your mission, this information provides valuable insight into what you love to do.

Ask yourself these 5 questions and see how your answers mesh with your current situation. Maybe you’ll see some overlap; maybe not. Either way, it’s great information and can generate some new and creative ideas.

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