A Dangerous Question

Sometimes, the best questions are the simplest. This is one of the best development questions I was ever asked:

“ If your job was open, would you hire you?”

If your answer is yes, congratulations! It means that you’re in a place that balances your gifts with someone’s needs. You are proud to say what you do. There are more good days than bad days. You can succeed but are motivated to grow; you know that things will change and you’ll change with them. People are better because you are there, and they bring out the best in you.

What if your answer is no? The first step is to figure out why. Then you have choices. Can what’s broken be fixed? Skills can be learned, help can be found, networks can be developed even attitudes can change. Maybe you can modify your role to better suit and develop you. All are possible with effort. You are worth it. Make the effort.

Some things can’t be fixed. You can’t change your basic personality, although you can change your behavior to make things better. You can’t change a role you simply hate. You can’t change other people. While you can guide and inspire, change is up to them. Finally, you can’t make a future where you see none.

If you truly can’t fix what’s broken, you still have choices. Figure out what you do want and how to get there. Maybe you can’t get there today, but you can make progress. Learn. Develop new interests. Practice. Seek feedback. Get a mentor. Create new relationships or revive old ones. Prepare yourself for a job where you say “YES! Hire Me!”, even if you hire yourself.

If your job was open, would you hire you? is a dangerous question. Once your answer is “no”, you have the responsibility to do something about it.

Are you up to the question?

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