Sometimes we make the choice to find a new career; other times, that choice is thrust upon us. Whether you have had time to prepare for an upcoming change or not, it’s important to start your journey towards new opportunities out there, by first looking inward.

Self-reflection, defined as meditation or serious thought about one’s identity, is key during any transformational time.

In fact, according to a recent study of managers who had experienced sudden career changes, there was a clear link between bouncing back quickly and a commitment to self-reflection. While some respondents got angry and looked outward after a career disaster, “nearly half of respondents focused on learning from their loss through ‘identity work’—they thought about the role they played, sought opinions from different people, and took steps to care for themselves. They were the ones able to move forward most effectively.”

In other words, how can you know which job is right for you, if you don’t even know yourself?

If you’re preparing for a career change, consider filling out your answers to the questions below. Once completed, print or write out your answers, and display them prominently at your work station at home. It could just give you the motivation you need to focus your search and embrace a change!

Self-Reflection Worksheet

What are you most proud so far in your career?

What values are most important to you?

What are your most valuable skills?

What are your immediate career goals?

Where do you see yourself in five years? How about ten years?

How do you define your ideal work-life balance?

Can you think of any other questions to consider when personally reflecting before or during a new job search? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.