8 Critical Steps for Navigating Your Next Career Move

8 Critical Steps for Navigating Your Next Career Move

Today we have a guest post from Emily Lamia, the Founder of Pivot Journeys. I had the pleasure of meeting her a few weeks ago at a mastermind event and we immediately knew that we had to connect offline. We both have a passion for personal and professional development and knew there would be ways for us to collaborate.

So today, Emily is here sharing 8 Critical Steps for Navigating Your Next Career Move. Settle down, grab a notebook, and get ready to learn something new.


1. Get Somewhere New

It’s really hard to think about – and start to work on – navigating your next career move when you’re in your usual environment, in your normal routine. Distractions, stress, and procrastination tactics – they will all get in your way.

Find a space, perhaps even a new place you’ve never been, that will make you feel calm and maybe even energized. This helps you with the time and space to do some much-needed thinking.

If you venture somewhere totally new, your brain will be stimulated in a new and different way that might help make new connections and see different possibilities in your future.

2. Start with Self-Awareness & Discovery  

Understanding where you are and where you’ve come from is key to knowing where you’re trying to go next. In today’s world, it can seem like we all need to know our ‘purpose’ and our ‘passion’ and our ‘mission in life.’ For most of us, it takes us a long time to figure it out and it’s not crystal clear.

For people who eventually figure it out, they’ve done a lot of internal reflection about what makes them happy, what makes them energized, what motivates them, and the unique skills they bring to their work.

So how do you figure this out? See Step 3. Make sure to repeat every time you’re figuring out your next move.

8 Critical Steps for Navigating Your Next Career Move

3. Ask Yourself a Ton of Questions!

Asking yourself a bunch of questions will help you hone in on what you’re looking for. Here are just a few of the kinds of questions that might help you get some clarity:

  • What do you currently do that you really like doing and want to continue to do?
  • What are the skills and talents you really like using day-to-day?
  • What did the jobs that you really like have in common?
  • What did the jobs that you really didn’t like have in common?
  • If you had to pick three adjectives that most describe the type of environment and culture you want to work in, what would they be?
  • What are the most important qualities in a boss for you?

Ask yourself these questions (and others) every time you’re figuring out your next move. Some answers will stay the same, some will change. Either way, they will help you get to the heart of what you’re looking for.

4. Know What Chapter You Want To Be In

What’s the larger picture of what you want your career flow to be? Another way of putting it: If the book of your career was divided into chapters, what chapter do you want to be in next?

One that allows you to focus on other things in your life, like your family or side project? One that is a new and exciting chapter filled with learning something totally different? Or one that’s a more intense version of the chapter you’re in now with the plot line progressing along the same lines? For more questions to ask yourself about your career chapters, look here.

5. Understand your Non-Negotiables

Separating the ‘must-have’s from the ‘nice-to-have’s (that aren’t crucial to you in your next job) will save you a lot of time and energy as you consider options.

If having flexible hours is a must-have for you, you can then eliminate looking at jobs that wouldn’t give you that flexibility.

If you know you need to work with a boss who will let you be pretty autonomous, then you know you’ll need to ask about what type of meetings and check-in’s you are likely to have in that role.

What are the most important factors in a job for you?

By understanding those must-have’s, you’ll be on your way to narrowing down what you want to do next and will be more efficient at sifting through jobs.

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6. Assemble Your Board of Advisors

We rarely make big life decisions without talking to our friends, family and mentors about them, so why should your career be any different? Who are the five people you trust most when it comes to helping you navigate your career? Who was really influential in helping you grow in your career?

Get some coffee dates scheduled with those people. Tell them that they’re a part of your informal advisory board and that you’d like their guidance, advice and support through this transition period.

These are going to be the people you call when you have a great interview and want to strategize on next steps. They’re also the people you call when you don’t get the job and need a boost of encouragement or help staying focused on your goal.

7. Create an Action Plan.

When do you want to find a new job by?

Whatever that goal date is, there are things that you should do next week, next month, then the next month after that in order for you to get there. Everything that you need to do should be tracked on that plan and it should tie to a calendar and schedule so that you stay on track.

Need a new outfit to interview in? Need to update your resume? How about confirm your references? How many informational meetings do you want to have? Have you updated your LinkedIn profile recently?

There are so many things that could go on this action plan – keep adding to it, and make sure it’s realistic. Need a list of the top action items in your job search? Check out this Job Search Training Calendar that can help get you started.

8. Do NOT Be Embarrassed or Afraid to Get Support

Most people navigate the painful job search by themselves without a lot of structure. And 50 years ago, there weren’t nearly the number of career coaches, workshops, programs, tools and resources that exist to help you in this process.

Communities like Manifest Yourself, coaches like Kimberly Brown, and my startup, Pivot Journeys, are just a few of the organizations out there that make this process way less painful and way more rewarding. Why not take advantage of them?

If you’re worried about the cost, remember: This is your life. On average, your work hours generally make up more than 40% of your waking hours every week. Isn’t it worth it?


Emily Lamia is the Founder & CEO of Pivot Journeys, a startup offering unique travel experiences that take you to top destinations and give you access to career mapping workshops, tools, and coaching that make your getaway a self-discovery adventure for your career. Check out upcoming journeys here.

Photography via Upsplash