How To Pinpoint Where To Make Career Moves and Changes

Ask yourself these 8 questions to determine what issues you need to fix in order to revamp your career.

learn more about Kanika Tolver

By Kanika Tolver Originally published

Westend61 | Getty Images

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The following excerpt is from Kanika Tolver's book Career Rehab. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes or click here to buy it directly from us and SAVE 60% on this book when you use code CAREER2021 through 4/17/21.

Once you decide your career needs rehabbing, you need to evaluate the current state of your career. This is the "diagnosis" phase. It's similar to a contractor inspecting a home they're planning to renovate: You're going to evaluate what remains strong, what could use some minor repairs, and what needs to be completely gutted and rebuilt. This inspection of your career is called the Rehab YOU Evaluation, and it will require you to be transparent and open to new ways of designing, building, testing and launching your personal brand, once you select the career path that's right for you.

The Rehab YOU Evaluation is a full walk-through of your current career state. It can help you develop robust and scalable ways to build or rebuild your personal brand for that first job out of college, new promotion, or career change. You can then reuse this evaluation as you advance in your career or change your career path. Whether you're a recent college graduate, current professional, or retiree, this evaluation will identify how to move forward as you Rehab YOU. Let's get started!

Related: The 9-Step Quick Guide to Rehabbing Your Career

The Rehab YOU evaluation

When I decided to rehab my own career back in 2014, I went out and bought unlined journals and sketchbooks. If I was going to embrace this evaluation process, I wanted to draw pictures, scribble down ideas and create to-do lists with no boundaries. I felt stuck in my career, and it was time to do a full inspection.

So, to get started, pick up an inexpensive sketchbook or journal along with whatever kind of writing instruments you like (pencils, pens, highlighters, markers — whatever sparks your creativity). Then start digging into the various aspects of your career by answering the questions in the following sections.

Design (ideation)

Brainstorm what you want your career path to look like and the lifestyle that will bring you happiness. Be creative — your career path can include nontraditional ideas or linear moves up your current job ladder. No matter what, though, design a career that feels right for you and aligns with the things you enjoy doing. Ask yourself these two questions:

  1. Do you have a defined career path? If so, what does it look like?
  2. Is your current career path bringing you happiness? If not, what career path would you like to pursue? Describe a career path that aligns with your passions or purpose.

The process of designing your career path helps map out your career blueprint. If you don't have a career blueprint that's aligned with your goals and passions, it's time to renovate!

Build (branding)

Identify what education, skills, certifications, training and professional experience you'll need to build your personal brand. As you build your brand, think about what soft skills you'll need to work on the types of projects that will help you grow in your career path. Too often, professionals focus on necessary technical skills and forget about the communication, writing and presentation skills they'll need to enhance their personal brand. Ask yourself these two questions:

  1. What formal education (college degrees, certifications, train­ing) do you have or need for your career path?
  2. Do you need more education, skills, or professional experience to accomplish your career goals for your chosen path?

If you lack the formal education that you need for your career path, you can't build the foundation of your personal brand. You don't always need a college degree to get the new role that you desire. Sometimes you just need a training course or certifications. The more technical certifications and courses you take, the more money you can demand. The Global Knowledge 2019 IT Skills and Salary Report says that the highest-paying certifications emphasize hard skills like cloud computing and cybersecurity and people skills like networking and project management.

Related: Build Your Squad for Financial Success

Test (marketing)

Test the career marketplace by creating a profile on LinkedIn and placing your resume on the most popular job board sites; this will help get you noticed by recruiters. As you market yourself, make sure you have the right buzzwords in your resume so recruiters can find you online. Ask yourself the following two questions:

  1. Does your current resume align with your desired career path?
  2. Have you created a LinkedIn profile and online job board profiles?

If your current resume doesn't align with your career goals, you'll find it very difficult to test your personal brand as you market yourself on LinkedIn and job board sites like and You'll need to rehab your resume before you start marketing yourself for your dream job.

Launch (selling)

Sell your authentic self in job interviews, networking events, meetups and conferences. When you relaunch your personal brand, you want to have top-notch networking and interview skills as you present yourself to recruiters, hiring managers and fellow professionals. The art of selling yourself requires you to become comfortable introducing your personal brand to people who can help you land the job you desire. Ask yourself two questions:

  1. Do you feel comfortable getting ready for job interviews? Do you perform well in interviews?
  2. Do you attend networking events, hiring events and con­ferences to connect with like-minded professional leaders, recruiters and hiring managers?

If you need to improve your interview skills and you don't currently attend events where you can sell your professional experience and education, you need career rehab.

Did you enjoy your book preview? Click here to grab a copy today—now 60% off when you use code CAREER2021 through 4/17/21.

Kanika Tolver

Entrepreneur Leadership Network VIP

CEO and Author of Career Rehab

Kanika Tolver is the CEO and founder of Career Rehab, LLC in Washington, D.C., where she helps clients transform their careers with coaching programs, events, webinars and digital resources to help people reach their career goals. An in-demand coach, consultant, speaker and thought leader, she has been featured on CNN, CNBC, CBS Radio, Yahoo!, Black Enterprise,,, The Washington Post and a variety of radio interviews and podcasts. Kanika is the author of the acclaimed title, 'Career Rehab: Rebuild Your Personal Brand and Rethink the Way You Work.' 

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

Everyone Wants to Get Close to Their Favorite Artist. Here's the Technology Making It a Reality — But Better.
The Highest-Paid, Highest-Profile People in Every Field Know This Communication Strategy
After Early Rejection From Publishers, This Author Self-Published Her Book and Sold More Than 500,000 Copies. Here's How She Did It.
Having Trouble Speaking Up in Meetings? Try This Strategy.
He Names Brands for Amazon, Meta and Forever 21, and Says This Is the Big Blank Space in the Naming Game
Money & Finance

What Is a Good Credit Score and How Do I Get One?

Is bad credit holding you back? This article explains what constitutes a good credit score and how to raise your score if it's low.

Business News

I Live on a Cruise Ship for Half of the Year. Look Inside My 336-Square-Foot Cabin with Wraparound Balcony.

I live on a cruise ship with my husband, who works on it, for six months out of the year. Life at "home" can be tight. Here's what it's really like living on a cruise ship.

Business News

These Are the Most and Least Affordable Places to Retire in The U.S.

The Northeast and West Coast are the least affordable, while areas in the Mountain State region tend to be ideal for retirees on a budget.

Thought Leaders

The Collapse of Credit Suisse: A Cautionary Tale of Resistance to Hybrid Work

This cautionary tale serves as a reminder for business leaders to adapt to the changing world of work and prioritize their workforce's needs and preferences.

Business Solutions

Learn to Build a ChatGPT Bot for Only $30

If you want to see what AI can do for your business, grab this course bundle today.


6 Myths About Leadership That May Be Holding You Back

By dispelling these leadership myths, we can create a more realistic and nuanced understanding of what it means to be an effective leader.