The process of taking a new direction in your career can be very exciting. Anticipating new responsibilities, renewed energy, and a fresh perspective can be thrilling, but figuring out what you want to do next can also be overwhelming. If you're at a career crossroads and trying to figure out the next chapter in your life, consider completing these exercises to jumpstart your planning.

take a career quiz or play a game

Taking personality assessments or career quizzes can give you insight into careers you might never have considered. Playing games might also trigger new ideas. They can help you figure out what you're interested in, what you're naturally good at, and what careers exist at that intersection. Use these tools to kickstart your brainstorm process.

think back on your childhood

What were you doing for fun as a child? Often times, that's the truest indication of what gives you the most joy and fulfillment. Try to make a career out of those experiences. If as a child you were playing with Legos, perhaps you're suited for a career building something. If you spent your childhood being artistic, consider a career that will allow you creative expression.

consult with a career coach

Seeking an outside perspective can be very helpful in determining your next career move. A career coach can help you identify what career path might give you fulfillment. They can also provide an opinion without bias, opening your mind to new possibilities without preconceived notions you or others who know you might have for your future.

talk to your loved ones

In addition to seeking outside, unbiased advice, consider seeking guidance from those people who know you most intimately. The people closest to you have a different (and sometimes more clear) perspective on you and your interests. Ask them what you might excel at and enjoy as you explore your options.

next steps

Once you have an idea of what career you want to pursue, take the next steps toward landing it. That might mean going back to school or pursuing training in a new field, or taking some online courses. As you prepare, consider expanding your network. Grab coffee or lunch with someone who can help mentor and influence you in your next chapter as you navigate your career changes. Whatever path you take, remember to be patient with yourself. Career changes take time, but if you're doing it for the right reason, it will be rewarding in the end.

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