Info: Career Question #1 marks the beginning of a series in which I will share empowering questions for your life and career. The original article was written in 2019 for another website and has been slightly redacted since.
Sometimes I get requests from people who have been on the job hunt for a longer time. Seemingly without any success. While I fully understand the growing frustration with every rejection, I don’t buy into the candidates’ story of “nobody wants me because…” And here is why. I don’t buy into concepts of “good luck” or “bad luck.” If you do, cool, I don’t. But what I do know to be helpful and empowering is changing perspective if being stuck in a rather unfortunate situation. Let’s be honest; frustration doesn’t get you anywhere.
So what can you do when you feel stuck in your “job hunt?” Ask a what I call a “career question”. A very unusual and empowering question. Here it comes:
Career Question #1 – “What’s right about this that I’m not getting?”
Yes, you read correctly. What’s right about it? Not what’s wrong. See, this is the trap most of us fall into so often. If something doesn’t work out the way we expect it, we almost immediately ask ourselves like
- Why me?
- What have I done wrong?
- What’s wrong with me?
Using these questions habitually is s a surefire path to increasing frustration. Please know: Our mind is conditioned to find answers to every question we ask. Every question. No matter if the question makes sense or not. So when you ask what’s wrong with you, your mind will deliver you all the answers it finds in its “memory database.” Unfortunately, the chances are that those are plenty.
Following this theory, your mind will equally deliver you all the answers if you ask what’s right about the situation. However, this might not happen immediately. As the question is so unusual, you might even experience a couple of seconds in which the mind goes blank. That’s okay. So, let’s give it a try right now. Bring a situation to mind you consider rather unlucky. It could be your job search or something else.
Now, read the question out loud.
“What’s right about this that I’m not getting?”
Even if you don’t get an answer right away, rest assured it will come to you. And it will likely surprise you. The answer might be that you continue applying in an industry you no longer enjoy. It might be time to make the career dream come true you buried for so long. It might be that you want to live somewhere else. It might be that you have “outgrown” the roles you are applying for. And that it is time to take the next step in your career.
To cut it short, you will get answers that are right for your situation, and that will give you additional information you haven’t considered yet. So, whatever the new information is, I recommend acting on it. And ask more empowering questions using positive wording.
Question Your Career Situation Constructively
I often use this question (and many others I will continue sharing) for all areas of my life, and it has provided me with more beautiful insights than I could ever imagine. Did it create change? Oh, yes! For the better? Definitely! Was I afraid of change at times? Definitely yes! But it was worth it.
So next time you find yourself receiving another rejection or even no answer from the company/recruiter, use the above question to get more information for yourself. Then act accordingly.
Last but not least, this brilliant tool is not mine, but from an organization called Access Consciousness. They discovered the beauty of using empowering questions a couple of decades ago. And if you have more specific questions about the tool or wish to share feedback about your usage of it, feel free to reach out here.
En-Joy your day & never stop questioning!
Nicole | NEL Career Services