From your career to your family to your feelings about your personal and professional development, it’s important to take honest stock of where you are so you can actively decide how you want your career and life to look.

I believe that when we walk into our jobs, we walk in as a whole person; we don’t split ourselves off at the office door. To move forward in our careers we need to assess all the pieces of our life so that we know where our energy is going and where imbalances exist.

And that starts with knowing your values and preferences and then using that knowledge to assess where you are now and where you want to be. Do you often feel like you’re in the same place after change and you’re just as unhappy for all the same reasons? This may be because you haven’t asked yourself some crucial questions, these being:

Who Are You?

What do you value? What’s important to you? What do you stand for? Let’s say that family is at the top of your list. Some organizations understand the importance of family and it shows up as flexible schedules, time-off culture, and working remotely.

What Do You Like?

What don’t you like? Do you prefer large organizations, or small? Do you enjoy being part of a close-knit community? Or is variety and autonomy more your thing?

What Do You Want?

When looking at job descriptions ask yourself, “How does this translate into my daily life?” Most people assume that you need to adjust your life around your career. After all, this is what is and has been the common path, but inertia isn’t a reason to take a job. Do you want to work close to home? Are you okay with being connected 24/7? Do you like to travel? Being intentional with what you want in your career allows you to set new boundaries and expectations for yourself, your family, and your career.

What Have You Accomplished?

What are you most proud of and enjoy doing? Keep in mind that accomplishments aren’t just promotions. Taking the time and space to evaluate what accomplishments meant to you and how they integrate into your career and life is essential to getting to the core of who you are and what you like.

In order to get to the core of who you are and what you want you’re going to be relentlessly honest with yourself. You’re going to have to ask yourself how you are showing up. Not how you want to show up, or how you wish you would show up, but as you actually are.

Remember, the key to figuring out the next step in your career and life is to identify the foundation of YOU. Whether it’s a job you’re no longer fulfilled in, a commitment you’re no longer passionate about, or complete burn-out across all categories—knowing the landscape will always help you build a brighter, stronger future.