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3 Lists to Give You Clarity in Your Transition

Professional using a computer.

When I start the personal branding process with a new client, I spend time uncovering and discovering their values, beliefs, skills, goals and feelings. In order to help my client position themselves authentically and in a targeted way, these questions provide a foundation to drive success in their career and in their life. My clients then use these lists as a filter through which they can make decisions going forward.

Whether you work with a coach or answer these prompts yourself, take some time to reflect on these critical questions to understand what motivates you and crystalize your transition and career game plan:

1. What do I need?

  • Emotional: Do I need validation, affirmation and praise to feel confident?
  • Financial: How much money do I need to feel safe?
  • Professional: What do I need to accomplish to feel professionally confident?
  • Physical: How much activity or exercise do I need to feel fit?
  • Spiritual: What do I need to feel grounded?

2. What do I want?

  • Emotional: What do I want in order to feel complete? Do I want a mate or partner?
  • Financial: What is my ideal financial picture? How do I define financial happiness?
  • Professional: What would I do for a living if money were no object?
  • Physical: How would I like to feel in my body? Do I wish I had more energy?
  • Spiritual: How would I like my spiritual life to look? What would feed my soul if I didn’t put any restrictions on my passion?

3. What do I value?

  • Emotional: What is at the core of my moral compass? What are my values?
  • Financial: Is financial success playing a disproportionately important role in my life? Do I feel that I have a healthy relationship with money?
  • Professional: How far would I go for professional success? What choices have I made that impact my values?
  • Physical: Am I willing to work hard to achieve the physical fitness I desire?
  • Spiritual: How do I live my most authentic life?

Next Steps

These are, no doubt, tough questions to answer. While you might not get through all the questions in one sitting, I encourage you to keep at it. Once you have your answers written down, take a moment and step back from your lists. Ask yourself:

  • What patterns emerge?
  • Are there consistent words, phrases or examples?
  • Does anything on the lists seem out of character or inconsistent?
  • Do the lists reveal new opportunities?

As you build your personal brand, these lists will serve as a check in to remind you what you need, want and value. Personal branding is about creating a sustainable and authentic reputation that delivers to you opportunities, clarity and results.  The closer these lists and goals grow together the more successful your personal brand becomes!

To get more transition tips and form your own transition plan, visit the Transition Center

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Lida Citroën, a branding expert based in Denver, has made a career of helping people and companies create new or enhanced identities. She is passionate about helping veterans learn how to compete for careers in the civilian sector. A TEDx Speaker, Lida presents her unique personal branding training programs across the U.S., at military installations and events, serves on the Board of Directors of NAVSO  volunteers with ESGR, and has produced numerous programs and materials to help military veterans successfully transition after service. If you have a transition question Lida can help answer, email her at She is also the author of the best selling book, "Your Next Mission: A personal branding guide for the military-to-civilian transition," available at and on Amazon.