How to Figure Out the Next Step in Your Career

Vartika Kashyap
5 min readJan 10, 2019

What’s next? You’ve no idea. Here’s the hint.

Whatever situation you’re in, by any chance you’re going to settle up asking to yourself, “What do I do next?” “How do I figure out my next step?” Today you love your job, and tomorrow you may feel differently about your job. This can result in agony to find something that provides an escape. First things first, how do you know it’s the time to find the next step.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does getting up for work make me happy?
  • Do I always drag a bit on my way to work?
  • Am I making the right impact on my industry?
  • Am I learning something new?
  • Is my heart not quite in it?
  • Does my salary make up for my satisfaction?

If the answer is a “no” to these questions, you may want to find a direction.

So, what now?

“Change inspires both fear and excitement, and one of our greatest talents is learning to manage both. Sometimes we have to be a little like a trapeze artist — we have to let go of one bar before we catch the new one.” — Nick Williams, author of The Work We Were Born to Do

Figuring out what to do next is like tieing your shoelace, if you don’t do it right, you’re probably going to have a great fall. Here’s a breakdown of the steps I recommend to move forward in your professional and personal life.

1. Find what you’re good at

You’ve put in the hard work, made many sacrifices, but it just didn’t work out. Before you hit the next step in your career, learn an important lesson. The one thing you have to learn is to know the right thing to do. How someone else succeeds may be different from how you succeed. Maybe what others are passionate about, you’re not. Maybe you love multiple areas. It’s time to focus on the skills you have got.

“Don’t do what you love. Do what you are.” Knowing what role you’re good in, is the perfect opportunity to build that expertise, and with little extra effort or through structured certification program you can easily excel in.

2. What do you like in your current role

When you first started, think back — what was your motivation? What were you looking for as your career growth? What did you enjoy the most in your job role? What interests you in your job role? When looking forward to your next step, take care of your likes and dislikes, you’ll better apprehend on areas to seek out for your next career move.

3. Be aware of what you dislike

To make sure your next career move is not a disaster, take note of what you do not like. You’ve got to make sure what the problem is? Example, you hate being supervised by someone, you do not like the way your peers compete against one another or you cannot fit in a non-friendly or over-friendly company culture. The list of things you cannot stand will help you know what to avoid further.

4. Dream, then research

Finally! You’ve got the courage to pursue your dream. Once you’re clear with your dream, research the job areas and organizations to find what meets your dream, your criteria and assess if they will add value to your career. Research the job market in-depth.

5. Fill the skill gap

A study found that a whopping 92 percent of executives believe American workers are underskilled. Now is the time to figure out if you’ve got the right skills. The “skills gap” is a term that divides the skills employers demand from employees and the skills employees actually possess. While you start the hunt to climb the corporate ladder, understand your skills, both hard and soft skills, you need to possess for your ideal role, particularly if your current and dream jobs are worlds apart.

6. Talk to people who inspire you

You become the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Talking to people who inspire you will make you strive to be who you want to be. Surround yourself with whom you aspire to be, who will provide you with insights, and new ideas. If you’re considering a career move, there is no doubt that meeting new people can give you access to a better world and help you greatly. The whole process may be scary but will definitely help you move forward with your career change.

7. Money is not the end goal

There is no doubt that money is important in making day-to-day living easier. However, this should not be your life’s goal. Money is not equivalent to success. It is the result of success. At one phase, money will cease to provide you with answers you seek internally. You will never achieve true happiness and success if money is your end goal. Aim for things that will make you happier. Dedicate yourself to work hard in what you do.

8. Don’t panic, breathe

There is nothing more important than your well-being. There are a lot of people taking the burden, being overwhelmed and depressed. As you walk into your career, treat yourself as you deserve to be treated. We all want to be healthy. Look for a good balance between your working life and taking the best care of your health. In the end, your health determines your quality of life.

In the end, it’s a point of paramount to know that your next career move will definitely define the rest of your life. Choose a step that will define your happiness of today. However, by following the above steps, you will know where to start from and what you particularly need.

Have you lately made a move? What worked for you? Leave a comment!

About Author:

Vartika Kashyap runs the marketing team at ProofHub — a project management software for teams of all sizes. She is a seasoned marketing professional who is an expert in digital marketing and entrepreneurship. She’s been featured among LinkedIn’s Top Voices for the year 2017 & 2018. Connect with Vartika on LinkedIn, Medium and Twitter.

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Vartika Kashyap

Chief Marketing Officer@ProofHub. Featured writer on LinkedIn. Contributor at Elearning Industry, Dzone, Your Story and Business.com.