The Most Important Questions to Consider Before a Career or Job Change


Business people walking outside a congress centerSo you are thinking about making a job or career change – which is fantastic.   Chances are you have been thinking about this for a while and that you have lots of thoughts and idea’s running about your head.  Before taking the step to engage a career coach or engage professional support, spend time considering the below questions. Even if you are not ready to put pen to paper just focusing your thinking a little may help provide you with some clarity and confidence to take the next step towards action!

The Position

  • What salary do I want?
  • What benefits am I seeking?
  • What hours do I want to work? I.e. days, evenings, part-time, etc.
  • Do I want to manage staff? If yes, what type of people?
  • Do I want to work autonomously or in a team or both? If both, what will the percentage be?
  • Do I want my role to involve travel? If yes, where? International? National?
  • Do I want one role or to have a few roles?
  • Do I want to work for myself or someone else?
  • How much flexibility would I have in my role?
  • What skills would I be using?
  • What challenges would I be encountering?
  • What types of people would I be working with?
  • How do I feel about these people?
  • How do I want to feel about the work I do?
  • What work life balance looks like for me?
  • Would I be learning?
  • If I was learning, what types of things would I be learning?
  • What are the pros and cons of the roles I have had in the past?

The Physical Work Environment

  • What does the office I work in look like? I.e. the style of building, levels, décor etc.
  • What is the location of the office?
  • Do I want to drive to work and will there be parking?
  • What space will I be working in? A cubicle, office, open floor, etc?
  • Do I want natural light?
  • Will there be music and a lot of noise and activity?
  • Do I want tranquility and peace?
  • Do I want to work in a high rise office tower?
  • What are the immediate surrounds of the organisation? I.e. parks, shops, gym etc.
  • What are the pros and cons of the work environments I have had in the past?

The Organization

  • What is the people size of the organization?
  • What is organisation’s culture?
  • What is the leadership of the organization like?
  • How will they manage their staff?
  • What are the organisation’s vision / goals / motto?
  • How is the organisation viewed by the community?
  • What are the values of the organisation?
  • Are they a prestigious organisation (well known to everyone) or an unknown entity?
  • If I want to create my own organisation, what will it look like?
  • What are the pros and cons of the organisations I have worked for in the past?

The Industry

  • What is the industry I am working in?
  • Is it a new industry for me?
  • Is it a growth industry?
  • Am I working across multiple industries?
  • What appeals to me about the industry/s?
  • How is the industry perceived by the general community?

The People

  • What will my co-workers be like?
  • What will the management of the organisation be like?
  • What will my boss be like?
  • What type of boss will I be?
  • What will my customers and clients be like?
  • What types of people do I work best with and why?
  • What are the pros and cons of the colleagues and managers I have had in the past?

My Personal Needs

  • What are my key interests – work and personally?
  • What do I enjoy doing most?
  • What am I great at?
  • What do others say I am great at?
  • When have I felt the greatest about what I was doing?
  • If I could change the world, what three things would I like to see?
  • What would I have to do to bring these into my work?
  • What are my own personal values that I live by?
  • What values do I expect a business that I work for to uphold?
  • What will I and won’t I tolerate at work and in life in general?


  • Write in a book or on paper your answers to some / all of these questions.
  • Go through your resume in chronological order and look at all the roles you have had to see if there are any patterns. Think about what you enjoyed doing and why?
  • Using job sites print out jobs that appeal. What are the things that appeal? Why?
  • Talk to people who work in roles and industries you are interested in working in.
  • Research courses that relate to roles and industries you are interested in.
  • After you have spent some time thinking about these questions do your research – are there any patterns or themes?
  • Talk to friends or family about your discoveries.
  • If you still feel unsure about where to go from here, contact a Career Coach or Career Counsellor to assist you with gaining some direction.

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Professional Careers Support

If you are looking to engage a Career Strategist to assist with your career change, I invite you to contact me to find out more about how I can assist you. I have successfully supported hundreds of professionals and executives in securing terrific new roles and in making life changing career transitions.

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