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Step 2: Where do I want to go?

Once you understand where your career path starts from, you can begin exploring your interests and uncover any related development options available. Use the guidance and resources below to guide your exploration and help you determine where you want your career to go.

Begin Exploring Career Opportunities

As with most journeys, you won't move toward your destination if you haven't determined what or where that is. Exploring yourself and your options will help you along your path to a new job or career. This part can be a great deal of fun. You can use the Career Map Worksheet to help you consider new roles, how they fit, and what you may need to take on those roles.

Do this:

Begin your exploration by asking yourself these questions:

  • What does my ideal job look like?
  • Why is this change important to me?
  • Where do I want to be in a year? In three years? Five years?
  • What normally holds me back?

Tools & Resources

Career Map Worksheet

Create a Five Year Plan

While it can be tempting to focus your career search on an immediate shift to a new role or position, it's important to think long term. Creating a five-year plan lets you think strategically for the future. Five years is far enough out that you can adjust as needed but close enough that you can start making concrete plans and progress. There's also a good chance you'll be asked the five-year plan question in a job interview, so it's good to be prepared. Your five-year plan should focus on specific goals and actions that move you forward and should include milestones to track your progress. Be sure include your reasons for those goals and specific dates for reaching them.

Tools & Resources

Career Map Worksheet

Create Your Professional Brand

Developing your professional brand is really about your reputation. It’s managing your professional image and establishing the narrative about what you stand for. The primary reason people develop their own brands is career enhancement. If you’re looking for a job, you want to control how you’re viewed online and in person.


  • Stay true to yourself. The most important piece to remember in building your brand is authenticity. Your brand is a reflection of who you are and what you value. It can be tempting to create a persona but anything that’s inauthentic will eventually come to light.
  • Ask yourself these questions: Where do you want to go? What do you want to be known for? What do you want to say? What personality do you want your brand to have?
  • Develop your online presence. Professional social media sites are good places to start, but don’t forget your presence on other social media. What messages are you sending?

Explore Careers at IU with the IU Career Navigator

It’s time to begin researching careers and roles that interest you. Use the IU Career Navigator tool to explore jobs, career levels, and descriptions of those jobs (role descriptors) to uncover opportunities at IU and explore some potential career paths.