Using Creativity To Create A Killer Career – Using questions to think differently about your career

I’m amazed at the breadth of human ingenuity to solve social, economic, political and even technical challenges.  The one area where I don’t see ingenuity applied nearly as much is when it comes to planning our careers and preparing future job prospects.

Can you apply the same killer question approach to planning your career?  YES!

By asking better questions, you can greatly improve the quality of the ideas generated which in turn create higher quality innovations.  How?  My adapting the killer questions to your specific needs.  For example, a common killer question used is:

What do people not like about the process of purchasing my product?

You can adapt this question by exchanging key words.  Take the original question and then replacepeople, purchasing and product for words that better fit your specific needs.  For example:

What do people not like about the process of purchasing my product?

  • people = customers, managers, 18-25 years old
  • purchasing = ordering, specifying, finding information about
  • product = service, solutions, content

So, how would you adjust the killer questions to help you think differently about your career?

  1. What assumptions am I making about my managers understanding of my skill and abilities?  What if the opposite where true?  How could you correct/reverse this understanding to your favor?
  2. Why don’t companies look for/hire people with my skills set?  How would you change this barrier?
  3. What value could I deliver of I had expertise across the entire value chain?  What is the entire value chain?  What are your gaps in expertise? How do you fill the gaps in your expertise?
  4. What external jolts have the potential to significantly impact my career?  Create most likely, pessimistic and optimistic scenarios of where your industry/career are going.  What decision would you make today/tomorrow/next month/next year if you know a given scenarios would happen?  Develop career strategies that are robust to withstand most if not all of scenarios.

What killer questions would your create to help think differently about your career?

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