Instead of just thinking about your career randomly and forgetting what you decided on before, I recommend doing it more systematically. There are three main tools that I use for this.
For me, writing is a good way to get my thoughts out of my head and into a place that I can dissect later on. This can be freeform or guided with questions, whatever works for you. It might also involve some internet searches to get the information you need. Career-wise, some good ones are:
- What do I need to be happy in my career?
- What skills do I want to develop?
- What are the opportunities available right now? Can I see myself becoming someone who can do those things?
- What are the next steps I will take to try these out?
- What are my fears, and how can I do my best to make sure those don't end up coming true?
- If you already have a concrete next step X job or company in mind: do I want to become someone who is good at X? Do I want to see more X in the world? Ultimately that is what you will be doing in your job - pushing the profits of your company.
If you can't answer these, then make a plan for the things you will try out so that you eventually can.
80,000 Hours' career planning template
80,000 Hours has a fantastic template that is basically a guided journalling exercise. It will be useful to you if thinking more about the impact of your work on the world is very important to you.
I've also created a spreadsheet of the options I've considered before and how I weigh them. These also include different factors that may play a part, for example income, whether relocation is necessary and so on.
Sometimes numbers can really help and give you more justification of why you want to do something. When I question myself or when others question me, it helps to be able to say "I've thought about the options, these were the scores, and that's why I chose to do this".
Link is here, and you can explore it below as well.
80,000 Hours is always a great place to look at. For more specific details on the nitty gritty like goal setting, Austin Belcak has a good starting point.