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How to Get Past the Career Crossroads by Asking One Powerful Question

Are you feeling overwhelmed with the career decision and not knowing what to do next? Have you been asking friends and family, what should I do? Where should I go? And not being satisfied with the answers that they’re giving you? Have you been feeling that something’s missing? That there’s a piece of the puzzle that’s missing of why you can’t decide on where to go in your career path. I’ve been there before, 10 years of university, college and after that, not knowing what to do with all my education, with all the experience that I had, extra curricular, everything even doing well, I always felt like, what’s missing? There’s a bit of information that I’m missing here. Why can’t I figure this out? Am I not smart enough? Do I not have the guidance? Do I not have the resources? And so I’ve been there, I’ve been overwhelmed and just not knowing how to make this really important decision or not knowing what was important to me. And so, one thing, the thing that I’m sharing with you here is one thing that really helped me to move that needle, was to set aside time for thinking, time to ask the most key, the most powerful questions that got me there.

One common grievance that I hear is the notion that I’m stuck at a crossroads and I don’t know what to do. I don’t know which direction to go. I don’t know where to focus my efforts. It is completely understandable because there is a big decision to be made and it is an important decision, and for some, maybe for you, it is a scary decision. It’s a scary decision and an important decision with varied and unpredictable outcomes. So you may be feeling a little bit overwhelmed or paralyzed in asking the question, “what should I do next?” without clarity of the root of the problem. But the thing is, wisdom comes not from getting the right answers, but you were conditioned to do that since grade school, where you’re conditioned to find out the right answers.

You’re conditioned to believe that if you don’t have the answers, then where do you go from here? If you don’t have the answers, that it’s hard to figure out what the next step is. You’re conditioned to believe that through school, through parenting, through media, that you got to find the right answers. But wisdom really comes from asking the right questions. Put in the comments below. What are your go-to questions that you ask yourself regularly when considering your career path or the next step of your career path. Start by asking what are the upsides to this particular career choice? And usually you’re the expert at this one because it’s always easy to figure out the desirability of a certain action. It’s easy to know “what are the benefits for you?” What are things that you’ll find pleasurable and enjoyable going down that career path? So start with that question.

What are the upsides to that career path? Then from that question, transition to the next question of “what could go wrong” if I choose this career path. This question is usually one that you might struggle with because it’s not natural for us to think this way. It’s easy for us to think what benefits me from going down this career path. But what could go wrong? You might need a little bit of assistance.

You’re probably conditioned to be irrationally emotional or optimistic about the career path you’re choosing. This question requires a little bit of assistance because you weren’t conditioned to answer questions of that nature of what could go wrong. So seek assistance in answering this particular question and that could be simply getting feedback from someone you trust about it. Come up with answers and try and going on it on your own first. “What could go wrong in this career path,” try coming up with the answers on your own first and then get feedback from someone you trust, someone who has gone down that career path or a similar career path and ask them if this is reasonable.

If you are being overly optimistic or overly emotional about the answers to these questions and be open to that feedback. And from that last question, then transition to the next one. Ask yourself, “can I live with the downsides of this career path?” This is the most important question you could ask when choosing which path to go down. And that’s because this particular question gives you insight into the root problem and expands the number of possible solutions that are out there for you.

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