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20 Questions To Ask When Choosing a Career by Doug Sherman

20 Great Questions To Ask When Choosing a Career

TQB Biehl

Choosing a career is the most significant  investment of your life and time that you will make. The selection of a career field obviously will determine what you will be doing during this time, what kind of life-style you will enjoy, and your level of fulfillment. However few will select a career field and stay with it for their entire adult lives. The average person graduating from college today will have four separate careers and several jobs with each career. As a result, your criteria for career selection will be very important to you. Choose wisely! Here are some questions to ask that may help. – Bobb Biehl, The Questions Book, p.41.

(1) What contribution would I like to make to others? No amount of money will offset a career that is not fulfilling. You will be most fulfilled when you know you are in a career that makes a contribution to society and you know your efforts are important to that contribution.

(2) Do I have the proper training to make that contribution? Find out the education and training needed to be an asset to the career field you are considering. In a time of rapid technological change, continuing education will likely be significant to you.

(3) Am I prepared to pay the price the career will demand of me? This question is not simple. You must ask yourself what kind of time and emotional energy will be required in light of your commitment to non work responsibilities.

(4) What is the work environment that allows me to do my best? Do you like working inside or outside? Do you like a fast pace or a slower, more steady routine? Do you like change or predictability?

(5) Where will I be in this job in ten years? Picture your position, your income, and your responsibility ten years from now. Would you be content with what you envision?

(6) Will a person I respect in the career be willing to talk to me about it? Look for someone with gray hair in the career or company you are interested in. The person can provide a wealth of wisdom about what you would be expected to do and what the career might hold for you. Find out the good and the bad. Every job has both.

(7) What would the ideal boss look like? Do you need structure, or do you need lots of freedom? Can you work with a boss who is fairly autocratic, or do you need a more participative style of leadership from your supervisor? Should you be on your own?

(8) What are the ethical challenges I will face? To find this out, you need to talk to an ethical person in the prospective career field. The more you can find out ahead of time, the better you can prepare yourself to keep your integrity.

(9) What is the reputation of the company I’m interested in? Go to the library [internet] and get help in researching articles and information about the company. Find out its reputation among the critics.

(10) What is the market for the product the company offers? Some products have a short-lived life span. Some high-tech companies have products that can become obsolescent in a few years. Your future is tied to the company, so know something about its future.

Other Questions to Consider

(11) Do I need to have increasing levels of responsibility to be happy?

(12) What kind of people will I be working with?

(13) What would an average day look like in this career?

(14) What kind of non work life will I have?

(15) How much travel would I be comfortable with?

(16) Am I open to moving around the country?

(17) What are the annual sales of the company over the last few years?

(18) In what ways will my job challenge me?

(19) What weaknesses could hinder me in this job?

(20) What strengths would make me an asset to this company and career?

Doug Sherman

Doug Sherman is founder of Career Impact Ministries, a Christian organization that helps business people integrate their faith and vocation. Mr. Sherman’s career started with service in the Air Force Academy and followed with a degree from Dallas Theological Seminary. He is the author of several helpful books on your vocation including: More Than Ordinary: Enjoying Life with God;  How to Succeed Where It Really CountsKeeping Your Head Up When Your Job’s Got You Down and Your Work Matters to God & How to Balance Time Demands (co-authored with William Hendricks).

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Great Questions to Ask Your Mentoree/Disciple

[Bobb Biehl is a personal and organizational leadership expert – below are some great questions to go over = personally; with your staff, team, mentoree, small group, disicple/s, etc.]

(Adapted from Bobb Biehl, Mentoring, pp. 201-202)

 DREAMING…about the Future in a Practical Way

  1. God: What three changes in me would most please our Eternal God in His Holy Heaven?
  1. Dream/Purpose: What can I do to make the most significant difference for God in my lifetime? Why am I on the earth? What is the very best organizational context for my dream?
  1. Primary Result: What is the single best measurable indicator that I am making progress with my dream?
  1. Life Priorities: If I could accomplish only three measurable priorities before I die, what would I accomplish?
  1. Ten-Year Focus: If I could accomplish only three measurable priorities in the next ten years what would make a 50% difference in my life-long contribution, what would I accomplish?
  1. Annual Focus:
    • Focus – What single word best captures the focus of my next year?
    • Opportunity – Where was my greatest unexpected success last year? Why? What three steps could I take now to take full advantage of this “Window of Opportunity” this coming year?
    • Land Mines – What three land mines or roadblocks need my immediate attention? What have I been praying most about in the past 30 days? What three changes could reduce my “risk” by 50%?
    • 30/10/50% – If I could only accomplish three measurable priorities in the next twelve months that would make a 50% difference in my contribution in the next ten years, which 3 things would I most want to accomplish?
  1. Quarterly Focus: What three measurable priorities could I accomplish in the next ninety days to make a 50% difference in the results I see by the end of the year?
  1. Organization: What three categories could I make to see a 50% difference in our morale as a family or team?
  1. Cash: If I had to cut my budget 21%, what would be the first three things to go? If I got a surprise gift of 21% of my budget, what three things would I do immediately?
  1. Quality: What three changes could improve the quality of my work by 50% in the next twelve months?

Bobb Biehl is an executive mentor. He graduated from Michigan State University (psychology major) in 1964 and received a Master’s degree (counseling) from Michigan State in 1966.

In 1976, Bobb founded Masterplanning Group International. As its president, he has consulted personally with over 400 clients. In that time, he has met one-on-one with over 3,500 executives (board members, senior executives, and staff members) and invested an estimated 40,000 hours in private sessions with some of the finest leaders of our generation. His clients are primarily large or fast-growing churches, nonprofit organizations, for profit corporations, and government agencies.

Based on these thousands of hours of practical “rubber-meets-the-runway” experience, Bobb has originated 35 resources (books, tapes, notebooks) in the area of personal and organizational development. These resources include published books entitled Boardroom Confidence, Dreaming, Leading with Confidence, Masterplanning, Mentoring, Stop Setting Goals, and Why You Do What You Do. His latest book, Dreaming Big, is co-authored with Dr. Paul Swets.

Bobb is a founding member of the board of directors of Focus on the Family. He is also a member of the board of directors of Liquid Metal (publicly traded). Prior to starting Masterplanning Group, Bobb was on the executive staff of World Vision International. While at World Vision he designed and developed the Love Loaf program, which has raised millions of dollars worldwide.

Bobb and his wife, Cheryl, have been married since 1964.

 

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Developing Vision in Those You Are Mentoring By Asking Great Questions by Bobb Biehl

Developing Vision in Your Mentoree/Disciple

(Adapted from Bobb Biehl, Mentoring, pp. 201-202)

 DREAMING…about the Future in a Practical Way

  1. God: What three changes in me would most please our Eternal God in His Holy Heaven?
  1. Dream/Purpose: What can I do to make the most significant difference for God in my lifetime? Why am I on the earth? What is the very best organizational context for my dream?
  1. Primary Result: What is the single best measurable indicator that I am making progress with my dream?

 

  1. Life Priorities: If I could accomplish only three measurable priorities before I die, what would I accomplish?
  1. Ten-Year Focus: If I could accomplish only three measurable priorities in the next ten years what would make a 50% difference in my life-long contribution, what would I accomplish?
  1. Annual Focus:
    • Focus – What single word best captures the focus of my next year?
    • Opportunity – Where was my greatest unexpected success last year? Why? What three steps could I take now to take full advantage of this “Window of Opportunity” this coming year?
    • Land Mines – What three land mines or roadblocks need my immediate attention? What have I been praying most about in the past 30 days? What three changes could reduce my “risk” by 50%?
    • 30/10/50% – If I could only accomplish three measurable priorities in the next twelve months that would make a 50% difference in my contribution in the next ten years, which 3 things would I most want to accomplish?
  1. Quarterly Focus: What three measurable priorities could I accomplish in the next ninety days to make a 50% difference in the results I see by the end of the year?
  1. Organization: What three categories could I make to see a 50% difference in our morale as a family or team?
  1. Cash: If I had to cut my budget 21%, what would be the first three things to go? If I got a surprise gift of 21% of my budget, what three things would I do immediately?
  1. Quality: What three changes could improve the quality of my work by 50% in the next twelve months?

*Bobb Biehl is an executive mentor. He graduated from Michigan State University (psychology major) in 1964 and received a Master’s degree (counseling) from Michigan State in 1966.

In 1976, Bobb founded Masterplanning Group International. As its president, he has consulted personally with over 400 clients. In that time, he has met one-on-one with over 3,500 executives (board members, senior executives, and staff members) and invested an estimated 40,000 hours in private sessions with some of the finest leaders of our generation. His clients are primarily large or fast-growing churches, nonprofit organizations, for profit corporations, and government agencies.

Based on these thousands of hours of practical “rubber-meets-the-runway” experience, Bobb has originated 35 resources (books, tapes, notebooks) in the area of personal and organizational development. These resources include published books entitled Boardroom Confidence, Dreaming, Leading with Confidence, Masterplanning, Mentoring, Stop Setting Goals, and Why You Do What You Do. His latest book, Dreaming Big, is co-authored with Dr. Paul Swets.

Bobb is a founding member of the board of directors of Focus on the Family. He is also a member of the board of directors of Liquid Metal (publicly traded). Prior to starting Masterplanning Group, Bobb was on the executive staff of World Vision International. While at World Vision he designed and developed the Love Loaf program, which has raised millions of dollars worldwide.

Bobb and his wife, Cheryl, have been married since 1964.

 

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20 Questions to Ask in Getting to Know Your Mentoree/Disciple by Bobb Biehl

*(Adapted from Bobb Biehl, Mentoring, pp. 197-200)

1)    What do you see as your top three strengths in rank order?

2)    What ten specific measurable things do you want to get done before age 65?

3)    What do you consider your lifework?

4)    What are your three deepest personal needs which make you potentially vulnerable…morally, ethically or legally?

5)    Which three people threaten you most personally? Why?

6)    Who are the three people who are (or could be) your mentors/disciplers?

7)    Who are three people who could be your mentorees/disciples?

8)    What is your “preferred ideal hope-to-have-someday” title (president, doctor, teacher, friend, encourager, leader, etc.)?

9)    What three things would you most like to change about yourself if you could? Why?

10) What three things are you most committed to doing before you die?

11) What three things do you feel are your greatest roadblocks in your life at this point?

12) In what three areas would you most like to grow personally in the next one to five years?

13) What one to three things are keeping you from being as close to God as you would like?

14) How do you picture yourself in ten years, ideally?

15) What one subject would you most like to share from your heart of hearts that you have never been able to put into words?

16) What have been your life’s: a) Milestones? b) Traumas? c) Questions?

17) How would you describe your general style of leading?

18) How would you describe your relationship with each of your immediate family members when you were growing up?

19) What three relational bridges do you need/want to rebuild?

20) Who are your five closest friends? Why?

Bobb Biehl is an Executive Mentor. His personal dream is “Strengthening Christian Leaders Internationally”. In 1976, he founded Masterplanning Group International. As its president, he has consulted personally with over 500 clients. In that time, he has met one-to-one with over 5,000 executives (board members, senior executives, and staff members) and invested an estimated 50,000 hours in private sessions with some of the finest leaders of our generation. His clients are primarily: For-profit corporations; Government agencies; Large or fast-growing churches and Nonprofit organizations. Bobb is a proven “Behind the Scenes” leader. He consistently brings practical / proven insight to the process of Leading, Managing, and Living life. His experience is reflected in all of the practical proven tools available on this web site … each designed to make you an even stronger Christian leader.

 
 

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