Before Making a Big Career Decision, Ask Yourself These Questions

Making a big career decision — whether to accept a job offer, or leave your current job, or make a career pivot — is hard, especially because there’s usually no “right” answer. To figure out what’s right for you, ask yourself these simple questions. Answering them will narrow down your options and help you focus on what’s important.

This five-step framework can help you focus on what’s important.

  • What are your feelings telling you? 
    Think about the kind of work you’re doing now, or the kind of work you’re planning to do. Brainstorm and jot down ideas of different careers you’re considering. What feelings come up?
  • What matters to you? 
    Understanding your values will allow you to make choices that align with the things you care most about. Take a psychological assessment or complete an exercise that will help you identify your values. 
  • What matters to other people? 
    Just as it’s important to get clear on what matters to you, it’s also important to consider how your decision will impact your loved ones. Ask them for their own thoughts, input, and feelings.
  • What is the reality of the situation? 
    You want to make choices for the right reasons so be objective. Consider the facts and data, not just your hopes and assumptions. Otherwise, you might end up having false expectations or feeling disappointed by your choices.
  • How do I put the pieces together?
    Once you’ve answered these four questions, review all the information you’ve just discovered. You should come to your final decision. If you don’t revisit the previous steps.

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