Posts Tagged “questions”

1

Early on in my career as an HR generalist, I realized that my favorite tasks had to do with recruitment and hiring—probably because my personality is more like a salesperson, and recruiting is the “sales” side of HR.

My career fantasies consisted of me getting to just focus on recruiting all day—finding and interviewing people, making offers, and convincing them this was the right opportunity for them. Eventually, I made my dreams happen and never looked back.

But is specialization always the right answer? Here are six questions to ask yourself to help you decide if it is, or if you should go the generalize route:

1. Who Are the People I Really Admire and Enjoy Working With?

Do you get excited when you talk with a specialist about what they do? What about their expertise gets you jazzed?
If you find your curiosity leads you down a rabbit hole of ever more detailed questions for them, then specialization could be a great fit for you. If you run out of questions or feel confused or bored, maybe you’re more of a “skim the surface” kind of person. There’s nothing wrong with that—business needs both kinds!

2. Would I Be Content Spending All Day Focused on One Thing?

If you’re in finance, you can take that in a lot of different directions. For those who like to dip their toes in all areas—from accounts receivable to treasury to budget management—specializing would be a downer.

But if you’ve seen all that and want to plumb the depths of one specific field, it may be just the right decision. Talk to a few people who work in those roles to make sure it’s what you think it is and you’ll enjoy it.

3. Will I Need More Education to Go Deep Into What I Really Want to Focus On?

Accountants and lawyers often face this dilemma early on. Tax accounting and tax law, for example, can be a fast path to high rewards, but they typically require advanced degrees and a lot of exposure to the specialty.

If you make that investment in yourself to go back to school, you’re making a long-term commitment to your craft. So be sure you really love it (and can afford it).

4. Will Specializing Increase or Decrease My Work-Life Balance?

It takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at anything, according to Malcom Gladwell’s book Outliers: The Story of Success.

Are you ready to spend a lot of time working to become a topic expert? How will that affect your relationships with your friends and family? It may be smart to ask for their opinion and support first, and decide for yourself if specializing will take away from the things you value outside of work.

5. Will I Box Myself Out of Future Opportunities if I Become Too Narrowly Focused?

It’s key to figure out if becoming a specialist will ultimately limit your career path down the road. Use your networking efforts to get a sense of where specializing will take you—and whether that sounds interesting to you.

Also, consider whether you feel more comfortable in a large organization or a small one. Small companies typically (but not always!) need more “utility players” willing to play several roles and fill in for others, whereas large enterprises often “divide and conquer,” solving problems with teams of specialists.

6. What’s My End Game?

If, down the road, you want to manage others, you might want to keep one foot in the generalist world. As a boss, you’ll need to be able to have credibility beyond your specialty to lead others.

However, if you’re more excited about becoming an expert in your field, specializing might be the way to go.

You may or may not already know all the right people willing to invest in you and advise you as you decide between specializing and generalizing.

If you don’t, that’s okay—but it’s key to have a strong network when making this decision. Talk with colleagues at your current company who are a few years ahead of you. Or, get in touch with fellow alumni who graduated from your university. Or, consider hiring a career coach who specializes in your industry or desired field.

Just be sure not to rush your decision—and know that you can always change your mind. Read a lot of articles and blogs, take people to coffee, listen to podcasts. In short, take your time. After all, this is your career—it’s worth getting right!

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/questions-ask-yourself-specialize-generalize?ref=recently-published-0

1

Why would I quit my good job?

Even if we’re not happy, many of us stop short of leaving because of that question. If you have good benefits, decent pay, and a reasonable boss, you feel ungrateful for wanting to go (even if you dread the work itself). You know many people would kill for the positive things you just listed off.

If you’re torn between whether you should leave, or try to make it work, ask yourself the following questions.

1. Did I Daydream About Being Somewhere Else Today?

Do you spend a good amount of your workday reading random articles or thinking about vacations you have no intention of going on? I get it—it’s fun to fantasize—but at a certain point, it’s a red flag that your job isn’t engaging enough.

Follow-up Question: Am I Just Easily Distracted?

In many situations, these sorts of distractions come down to your ability to focus, not how well your job suits you. If this is the case, you’re better off making a concerted effort to improve your focus and develop productivity skills than looking for a new role. A great place to start is reading Brian Tracy’s famous book, Eat That Frog.

On the other hand, if you typically have laser-focus and realize you’ve recently stopped caring, it may be time to move on.

2. What Would it Take for My Job to Make Me Happy?

Make a list of the things that would need to change for your job to be really fulfilling for you. Maybe your workload is massive, or maybe your team is structured in a way that causes friction. If your unhappiness is stemming from something circumstantial, talk to your boss and see if you can change things for the better.

Follow-up Question: Are These Changes About Me (and Not My Job)?

Often times, when I ask my clients to do this exercise, they wind up with a list of things they’d need to change in themselves for their job to make them happy.

What this signals to me is that they aren’t unhappy with the work. Rather, they feel they’re holding themselves back in some way. Building new skills can be a way to boost your confidence and open your self up to new opportunities—both in current and future roles.

Online courses provide tons of training and advice. Along with that, I’d recommend reading books in your area of focus, as well. Once you’ve changed up what you have to offer, it’ll be easier to assess whether it’s you (or where you are) that isn’t quite working.

3. Am I Worried About Money?

Fear’s a powerful motivator—and understandably so. It’s disconcerting not to know where your next paycheck is coming from. However, if all your job does is help you pay your bills, I encourage you to see if there are other opportunities you’d find more compelling (without bankrupting yourself).

Follow-up Question: Am I Unhappy Because I’m Financially Vulnerable?

I’ve repeatedly noticed that when people are stressed about money, they become more risk-averse in general. Their anxiety about losing their job actually drives them to underperform. This drop in performance makes them more anxious, and as result, they begin to hate their job.

If this describes you, then the next step for you is to buckle down and get brutal about your finances. How can you right now budget a life that leaves you a financial safety net and takes the pressure off?

This will help you either way, because if you secure yourself financially and you’re still unhappy, you’ll know it’s time to go.

The last question you should ask yourself is: “Am I afraid of what people will say?” This is a fundamental fear that holds people back. Many of us are terrified of what people will say when we quit a “good job”—especially if it’s for something less profitable or uncertain. They might think you’re ungrateful, insane, over-confident—who knows, maybe all of the above!

Forget them. Would it be really be worth staying in a job you don’t like—each and every day—just to have other people be impressed with you? Those people could think you were a hero, but you’d still be unhappy. Make this choice about you and your personal happiness, and you’ll come to the right decision.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-questions-to-ask-yourself-before-quitting-your-perfectly-good-job?ref=carousel-slide-0