Even before you learn about what's out there in the market, you need to know what's inside you—your interests, your priorities, your preferred lifestyle. If you're unhappy in your career and it's been that way for a while, you may have lost touch with your inner compass, and your ability to make good choices has atrophied. Before making any other choices, and certainly the big choice about your next career, you need to strengthen this inner compass by practicing good choices—i.e., making choices that honor your interests, priorities, and preferences. You may not be able to make big moves in your career immediately, but you can do this for your free time and personal pursuits. Focus on fun, meaningful activities to remind yourself what you enjoy and strengthen your inner compass.

Keep an Ideas List (Separate from a To Do List)

As you start paying more attention to what brings you joy, take notes. Keep an ideas list where you jot down anything that sparks your interest—a company you hear about, a project your friend is doing, even general business news. Just make sure this ideas list is completely separate from your to do list. You are not to do anything with your ideas except collect them. Too often, an overly ambitious job seeker will quash a new idea by jumping too quickly into how they can use the idea in their next professional move. Then they take all the fun out of the idea by focusing too hard on how to do something with it. For now, don't worry about the practicality of your ideas—just focus on what interests you.