It was easy for me to say that it was time to make a change. Sometimes the easiest and most obvious way to make a decision to move on to something new is when there is a persistent and chronic pain point. I knew what I didn’t like about my work situation. Being unhappy is unpleasant and that made it clear to me that I needed to make a change. I have a great professional record and the easy route to take would have been to immediately begin looking for similar jobs within my industry. Finding another job for the sake of finding another job would not have taken much time, effort or creativity. Most importantly, following this path wouldn’t have addressed the core issues central to my problem.
I already knew what I did not want; now it was important to explicitly state what it is that I wanted in my next professional life and this began with an evaluation of myself. What are my core values? It was important for me to be as IDEALISTIC as possible as this would represent the best of scenarios. I sat at a park by the East River in Brooklyn and asked myself a few questions to get going:
- What are my interests and passions?
- Who are my friends and the people I surround myself with - What traits do these people have?
- What types of environments make me happy and the most productive?
After thinking about these things for a bit, I came up with a short list of general ideas/words that get me going:
Next, I tried to get more specific and drill down to what my new job/company/career situation would look like:
- Fresh environment
- Creative / inspiring people
- Work with teams of creative and business people alike
- Open, bright office space
- Challenging work - Problem solving
- Dynamic project work
- Opportunities for growth
- Constant opportunities for learning/development
Although representing an ideal state, most of the items in the two lists above were missing from my past jobs. My brainstorming session by the river further validated my decision to transform my career and gave me a starting point to identify and assess which industries and roles I want to explore.