This question does not have a single answer for every person. Making a career change looks different for everyone, so there is no linear equation into which you program yourself and produce your next career move. In fact, many suggest that career decisions and career transitions are not linear at all.
“Finding out what I want to do with the rest of my life” is a common goal. Attend any type of graduation party and it will be a recurring question. This notion of the one-career person is as prevalent as its reality is a myth. That is, many people wonder what they will do for the rest of their lives, while in reality they may do many things before they’re done. Need evidence? Pick up any good biography or autobiography and you will read how that person thought he/she may do one thing, but somehow ended up in a different place than expected. I would conjecture that we cling to the one-career notion because it is comforting. “If I can just figure out the solution to this riddle I will know how the rest of my life will look (generally).” There can be comfort in predictability. However, in reality, the future is unwritten, unknown to us. Just because a career or a job “fits” us now, does not ensure it will in 5 or 10 or 20 years. Therefore, making a career choice or change requires us to make the best decision for now, testing out that decision, and modifying the decision if needed.
(Reposted with permission from http://www.drmelissaaiello.com/blog.html.)