When I was ready to change careers, I remember I just didn’t know what to do.

Not knowing “What’s next?” keeps a lot of people stuck in unfulfilling jobs.

Reflection: turn experience into insight

I had changed my career direction in the past and enjoyed the experiences I had. I returned to film production because I was going through a personal transition and needed something I was familiar with to get me out of debt and get me through the tumultuous time.

I got out of debt and the personal transition ended. Then, I was ready for a change again. I was still confused about what was next.  But it was time to figure it out.

I started to reflect on my life.

I looked at all the things I had done, dreamt about the things I still wanted to do and took time to consider how I wanted to live the next part of my life.

Looking at past experiences from a different perspective was interesting.

I was really thinking about what each job entailed along with my hobbies and my daily tasks. I started listing all the skills I acquired along the way.

This showed me more about myself and how I had been living. Now I could decide if this was how I wanted to continue living?

Reflection helps you get to the first step by really seeing what is happening in your life.

Reflection is about gathering information. When you reflect it is important to start with what worked in the situation. Then look at what you didn’t like about the experience and why? And finish with thinking about what you would do differently.

For example: when I was ready to end my film career I started by changing a few things. I made these changes after I reflected on what I liked and disliked about the position. I realized that time was important to me. Working on a TV show or movie for months on end was not something I wanted to do anymore. So, the first change I made was to work on commercials and only day playing on movies or TV. This helped take care of some of the things I didn’t like about film and kept me happy for a few more years.

Even with the changes I made, I still was ready for a new career. With the extra time I was able to work on what I wanted next.

It took reflection, it took dreaming, and it took designing. Then I was able to find my next path.