Whether you seek more flexibility, a career change in meaning or focus, or are at a transition point personally — maybe maternity leave or returning to work, the key to finding work that truly works for you is to be in touch with what exactly it is that you want. Sounds obvious, but taking the time to work through this will help you make good decisions.

Life and career coach Laura Riordan put together this list to help you think through the ins and outs of how you want to work, how you want your day to look, and more.

Riodan says, “start by carving out some uninterrupted time and get specific and creative with your terms. Imagine a time when you felt empowered and engaged with your work. You can reach as far back as childhood or perhaps a recent project to find a time when you felt a sense of flow and all other things seemed to fall away.” See Riordan’s full guide to making the change you want.

When ready, ask yourself these questions:

1. What does your ideal day look like?

2. What is your ideal work environment?

3. Who do you want to work with/for/in service of?

4. Are you more inspired working in a group of people or by yourself?

5. Do you prefer working in a natural setting or a posh office?

6. What kind of time commitment are you interested in?

7. How much flexibility do you need and want?

8. How far are you willing to commute?

9. Do you want to work on projects or on a contract basis?

10. Do you want or need to leave work behind when you get home?

Completing this exercise won’t necessarily make the perfect situation appear magically, but it will provide a compass to guide you as you navigate your career.

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