These are a few of my favorite phrases to hear in career counseling work:
“Oh wow, I’d never thought about that before.”
“I really don’t know. That’s a great question.”
“I’ve got some work to do to figure some of this stuff out.”
Why are these some of my favorite things to hear? Because it can be wonderful not to know all the answers! Only when we come up against what we don’t know—and get clear about what information exactly is missing from the equation—can we move forward in a different, improved way. Trying the same tactics, with the same mindset and the same set of assumptions will (not surprisingly!) bring you to the same places you’ve been before.
We must reorient ourselves in order to tread new ground. We must find our blindspots, fill in the gaps, and feel a little uncertain, a little unsettled, but hopefully… a little excited by the possibilities.
Sometimes all it takes is one good question to make a huge shift. The next time you have a big decision to make, ask yourself: What am I overlooking? What is another piece of information that would be nice to have as I make this decision? Is my assumption about __________ really correct? How can I test that out?
It’s easy to focus on the pieces of information we have in front of us, sometimes to the extent that we overlook the pieces we don’t yet have. Slowing down and asking just a few simple questions can lead down a path of important insight.
tags: career ambiguity