As an 11-year veteran career coach, now serving as the executive director of the University of Virginia Darden School of Business Armstrong Center for Alumni Career Services, Jen Coleman has seen many job seekers give up on their job search before they are really ready to begin. In a recent Ideas to Action article, she shared her insights on five important steps to take before you start your next job search.

This can be as informal or formal as you like, but a self-assessment is about asking yourself the tough questions. Is your career aligned with your bigger life needs and goals? Are you happy? Do you feel like you are headed in the right direction? At Darden Alumni Career Services, our favorite tool for this introspective work is Designing Your Life. The authors do an outstanding job of helping individuals examine and assess “how you’re doing.”

Read the full article on Darden’s Ideas to Action to discover all five steps.