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Wednesday
Mar262014

Those Career Questions That You Need To Ask

This is the second part of a two-part note on managing your career direction.  The first part, “That Career Direction You’ve Been Thinking About”, focused on some of the larger concepts surrounding you taking charge of your career.  This second part reveals some of the important questions that you can ask yourself, depending on your situation and mindset.

Whether you are changing direction or checking your current path, the following might be useful for you.  I have provided a short list of questions that you can ask yourself and, while these are not exhaustive, they might stimulate your thinking and generate other great questions that you can call your own.

 

My situation

  • Am I giving time enough to myself and my career plan?
  • Do I have a plan, or am I leaving it to fate?  How is that working for me so far?
  • At what time today will I sit down in a quiet spot where I can reflect on myself, my career, my future, my aspirations?
  • What is more/most important to me at the moment – money, status, influence, outcomes, span of control, responsibility, accountability, personal/professional growth, career advancement – and is that need being met in my current circumstance?
  • What appears from my reflections?  Are there any apparent trends or surprises?
  • If I was going to give my best career advice to someone who is important to me, what would it be?  Do I follow that advice?
  • Who else but me can do anything about my situation?

 

Where are my head and heart?

  • Am I eager to arrive at work each day, or is my current job something that I don’t look forward to?
  • Have I left my job, but I just haven’t left the building?
  • What am I feeling right now?  How do I want to feel?  What might I feel if drive my career in a different direction?
  • Is my current state of mind just a temporary thing, or have I been thinking about this for a long time?
  • Am I running away from something or toward something?

 

Why is there ‘static’ in my life?

  • Does everything seem ‘in sync’, or is there some ‘static’ in my life at the moment?
  • What is that ‘static’, how would I describe it or characterise it?
  • What are my values, and are they being met?  If not, what does that mean to me?
  • Are any of my principles being compromised?  Which ones, how?
  • Is this job addressing my needs?  If not, what is missing for me?
  • What is it that is right, and isn’t right, about my job?
  • Is it the job itself, the people around me, the organisation, or the industry in which I work?

 

My options

  • What skills do I have and what jobs, other than my current role, could I apply those skills to?
  • What alternative job opportunities occur to me when I apply my skills set in a broader context?
  • Am I looking for the same job in a different organisation, or a different job in this organisation?
  • Is there something else that I am meant to do?  What might that be and where do I find that?
  • What is my plan, what resources do I need, and when will I commence each phase?
  • What industries do I want to work in, and not work in?  In the industry/ies that appeal to me, what organisations would I want to work for, and not work for?
  • Why should I go/what would I gain?  Why should I stay/what would I gain?
  • What if I choose to do nothing?  What if I do something?  What difference would either option make to my life?
  • What is at risk if I choose the ‘do nothing’ option?

 

Decision time

  • What would I do if I wasn’t afraid?
  • When will I start work on my new job, that is, searching for a new job?
  • What will I do – first, second and third?
  • How will I re-energise when things don’t work out?
  • How will I learn from my mistakes and successes along the way?

 

Action

  • I will sit down to reflect on my situation, focus on head and heart, and identify any static that might exist on M/T/W/T/F/S/S at . . . . . am/pm.
  • My career goal and my clear focus during the next six to nine months is to . . . . . .
  • My personal skills audit reveals the following attributes that I can apply to a range of existing and new career opportunities . . . . . . .
  • I will start to manage my situation immediately and the first thing I will do is . . . . . . . The second thing I will do is . . . . . . . . . , and the third step I will take is . . . . . . .
  • I need to remember . . . . . . . . . . . . when things don’t work out, and I need to notice . . . . . .  that I can congratulate myself on.
  • The three people with whom I will consult who I know will give me their fearless opinion are (1) . . . . . . . . . . . (2) . . . . . . . . . , and (3) . . . . . . . .
  • Three great questions that I can ask each of them are: (1) i/ ii/ iii/    (2) i/ ii/ iii/    (3) i/ ii/ iii/  
  • In my current role I need to do/focus on . . . . . . . .  that will reflect positively on my professional approach and reputation until the time that I leave.

 

If you would like to discuss your situation confidentially, please email me or phone me on +61 425 224 943 to arrange a time to chat.

 

All the best

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