One of the questions I really like to ask people is: what’s the best piece of career advice you have ever received? The question often prompts people to recall something that made a positive difference in overcoming an obstacle to their career or job aspirations. Obstacles such as lack of self-belief; a shortfall in skills or experience; a sudden job loss; continual rejection of job applications; or something else altogether.
Earlier this year I decided to put this question to CareerActually readers and received an amazing range of responses which you can read in My Best Career Advice. One of the responses came from Kyanne Smith, who posed the question why not me?
Here is what Kyanne wrote:
I’m very fortunate when it comes to career advice. I’ve got some clever, kind friends who have given me some gems of wisdom over time. I’m sure some advice I missed entirely – I wasn’t ready to hear it. Some I am pleased to have considered and acted on. The advice I’d like to share came in the form of a question. It was a very simple question, given to me by a friend, to ask of myself. Why not me?
I am a reasonably confident person, but sometimes I find myself questioning what I am capable of. I wonder if I’ve got enough of what it takes. Whether I’m clever enough, brave enough, persistent enough, deserving enough. Sometimes these thoughts are accompanied by others I call the ‘unhelpfuls’. So, on the day I was asked this question, it made me think in a different way. The ‘unhelpfuls’ didn’t get a look in. Which is exactly what I needed, and instead I found myself considering some other questions. My thinking went something like this…
All those other people out there making a success of things I’d like to try, were they really much more clever than me? Seriously? All of them? Were they any more brave, or persistent, or deserving? Perhaps. Was that a good reason not to have a go?
How did all those people get there – surely they had to make a start somewhere? And I know there are lots of ways to get started in something.
If so many others just made a start…..couldn’t I do that too? Indeed…..why not me?
My clever friend realised I needed a bit of a reality check, and that self-doubt was really getting in my way. Instead of giving me a pep talk (which I may have politely dismissed) she let me ponder that question. So if you find yourself in a similar situation, I hope the ‘why not me’ question might help you too.
Maybe the ‘why not me’ question is relevant to you or someone you know, who is looking to change jobs or achieve a goal that right now seems elusive.
And maybe there is some career advice you would like to add – we would love to read it!
Have a great weekend everyone!
Until next time