Time for reflection while you’re chilling on the beach or gazing at the stars can throw those dissatisfactions with your current job or life into sharp relief. Clarity over what needs to change is something to seize on before you’re home and back in your routine – before you get bogged down again. This is an opportunity to think what else you might do with your life, something that could make you way happier. Grab a book and jot down some thoughts in response to these key questions…

What do you want?
This may be very different to what you are currently doing with your life, which may no longer suit you. Priorities change. Think about how your priorities have altered and what you now want instead.

What are you good at?
Think laterally about your skills and strengths and write a list. Dig deep. This is no time to be bashful.

How can you combine skills and passion?
Think laterally about how you can work in ways you would find more fulfilling. Think about what you love, what you’re good at and how you could combine them to earn an income.

What gives you meaning?
Really think about this one – because you may have pushed it to the back of your mind for years.

What gives you pleasure?
Do you like people? Creative challenges? Solving problems? Working independently? Think it through.

Who can help?
Maybe you need to find a coach who will ask questions and hold you accountable. Or find a mentor – someone who already works in the field you want to work in and can guide you. At the very least you’ll need to share your plans with a good friend. Big change is more likely to happen if you have support.

What’s the worst thing that can happen?
We’re so conditioned to worry what other people will think of us. But at this stage we should give equal weight to what we actually want. So if the worst thing that happens is you take a few steps in a new direction and it doesn’t immediately go to plan, instead of an embarrassing waste of time, see it as all part of the learning process of ultimately getting to where you want to be.

How will you pay the bills?
Most of us have no choice but to keep earning. But even if you can only get an hour a day to plan your future project or career, it will really make a difference. Because one day the new venture will pay the bills. In the meantime, work out when in the week you can commit to some planning time, and commit yourself to it.

Looking for expert advice? The Audrey Members’ Club is a whole world of support, coaching and expertise for women through self-employment, changing careers, running a business or launching one. Join us to kickstart your future, whatever that may be.

Words: Marina Gask