Education

Six questions that may help you solve a career dilemma


Career expert Andrea Kay has a six-question technique she recommends for anyone who is experiencing a career problem. She says that by answering these six questions (at your own pace), you'll be able to "clarify what's eating at you, how you want things to be different, what you need to do and whether you're willing to do it."

The questions are:

  • What is your problem?
  • Why is that a problem? What troubles you about that?
  • How do you want this situation to be? If this problem were solved, what would the situation be like? How would you feel?
  • What's stopping you from making that happen?
  • What do you need to do to make that happen? What needs to change? What do you need to ask of others? What do you need to change inside yourself?
  • Now that you know what needs to be done, what are you going to do?

I think these questions are useful in that they allow you to step back and look at your problem somewhat objectively. (She also has a sample of answers to the questions here to see how it's done.)

Give it a shot and let me know if it works for you.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

12 comments
Photogenic Memory
Photogenic Memory

People are often confronted by a lot of life problems such as dependents( sometimes not planned ); health problems, or even substance abuse and so much more. Life is dynamic like that and hardly linear. On top of that; you try and balance a job(s) so you can maintain and have little in life. For me; I found asking for help( Seriously, It doesn't come easy for me ) and researching many avenues to make the intolerable situation(s) a bit easier to cope with really do help. Do you have someone to lean on? Are there established help resources out there to help you cope? Are you TRULY trapped(ask yourself)? Some situations take time to sort out and others; well, need a total overhaul. Perhaps it's just perception influenced by being in THAT moment that can color a situation as unchangeable or hopeless? Some things to ponder.

jgmsys@yahoo.com
jgmsys@yahoo.com

All well and good, but if your life circumstances prevent you from changing the situation, what's the point of asking questions? You're trapped indefinitely, like it or not.

Don'tQuitYourDayJob
Don'tQuitYourDayJob

Uhhhhhh. I counted 12 questions in there not six so I'm not sure how to much I trust career advice from someone struggling with basic math. Do you have recruiting background by chance?

khonkonen
khonkonen

What adamBrown says is so true. How you approach the problem is so important. Feel good about you and the a$$ will follow.

LocoLobo
LocoLobo

There was a quote somewhere long ago. Somebody else can probably remember it right. The Courage to Change things I can, The Strength to Accept things I can't change. The Wisdom to Know the Difference. Yes some things you are stuck with. But some things can be changed. Just because you can't see the answer today doesn't mean you won't find it tomorrow. Try to figure out what options you do have. See stepmonster and adambrown29's replies. I don't know your problems or dilemmas. But don't let yourself get into a downward cycle. Many years ago I ended up doing just what stepmonster recommended as a last resort. I left. That was difficult at the time. But it was also the right choice. Good luck.

stepmonster
stepmonster

Some work environments take turns for the worst, and there are circumstances that cannot be changed. Once you ask the 6 questions and find you have no power over a situation that you just can't put up with - leave. I did. But the 6 questions are good - define the problem, and the symptoms, list some cures, list why, what you want to see changed, how, and see if you can brainstorm a solution. If not though - monster.com.

worker_B
worker_B

So it is six groupings of questions, big deal. The questions are on target, but I guess you missed that with the opportunity to be a smart arse. Do you have a degree in being a jerk by chance?

worker_B
worker_B

So it is six groupings of questions, big deal. The questions are on target, but I guess you missed that with the opportunity to be a smart arse. Do you have a degree in being a jerk by chance?

worker_B
worker_B

So it is six groupings of questions, big deal. The questions are on target, but I guess you missed that with the opportunity to be a smart arse. Do you have a degree in being a jerk by chance?

khonkonen
khonkonen

LocoLobo and StepMonster has the universal response. But one has to change dem self. It is about sacrifice for that moment and sacrifice down the line. And yes, you cannot control everything around you. "Go with your gut."

LocoLobo
LocoLobo

That's it. To me it was always about learning that some things you can change and should, some things you can't change or shouldn't; wisdom is knowing which is which. My wisdom quotient isn't there yet. :)