A friend asked me to look over his resume as he began his first job search in more than a decade.  It laid out all of his experience in the field he had been working in – a field he said he wanted to exit.   I read it and said, “It looks great — if you want to get another job doing the same thing.”

His surprised expression gave way to a look of revelation as he thought through my comment.  Often, when people start a job search, they update their resume with a blow-by-blow description of jobs they’ve held.  They boast about the duties performed, and the money they generated, managed or raised.  But if they want to make inroads in a new field, that task starts with examining what they want in their next role.

If you want your next job to be personally meaningful, don’t start by adding your latest position to the same old resume, or reading job listings.  Start by exploring your life goals, strengths, personal priorities, and accomplishments.  Write it down.  Review it. See the story it tells.