One of the problems in a job search is looking “everywhere” and not finding a job. Some people think they need to go to graduate school and get a master’s degree.
One of the problems if you want to be a writer is that it’s hard to make a living at it. Some people think they need to go to graduate school and get an MFA.
One of the problems if you want to be a coach is that you might think it’s difficult to do well. Some people think you need to be accredited, to go to a program and get a certificate, or go to graduate school and get a degree.
I could continue with project management, or anything else, but I bet you see the pattern…
Now, I do have a master’s degree (Systems Engineering, which is not about discovering requirements, but about putting systems together), so I am a fan of sometimes going to graduate school. I’m not opposed to graduate school. I am opposed to going to graduate school on your parents’ money or going into debt to go to graduate school. Especially if you can do something to prove to yourself that you can do the job and see if you like it before or instead of going to graduate school.
I supposed if you have more money than Croesus, it’s fine to go to graduate school. Maybe take a few other people with you, to spread the wealth! And, I am picking on graduate school as an example.
The idea for this week’s question of the week is this: we sometimes get stuck on one alternative. What else could you do? This question prompts you to remember the Rule of Three and use it.
How do you use the Rule of Three with What Else Could You Do? First, check that you have three worthy alternatives. Remember, when you problem-solve, one solution is a trap, two alternatives is a dilemma, and three alternatives break log-jam thinking and help you understand the problem. When you have three worthy alternatives, you understand the problem.
If you are looking for a job, maybe you are not networking in the right places. Are you meeting new people each week? Are you going to a networking support group? Are you increasing your number of loose connections each week? Do you have 25 companies on your target list? Are you doing at least one thing each week to reach a company on your target list? Are you reading Hiring Technical People to read my tips and traps? Did you buy Manage Your Job Search?
If you are a writer, are you writing something to completion each week? Are you sending it to an editor for publication? Are you writing a book a year (or close to it)? Are you spending time with other writers? Are you writing? Are you collecting publications or rejection letters and learning from them? Are you reading a lot? If you aren’t writing now, what makes you think that will change?
If you want to be a coach, have you practiced coaching? Do you have a coach? (I have a coach, because I coach other people. I ask for coaching. I practice what I preach.) How many coaching books have you read? What kinds of coaching do you know about? Under what circumstances do you and don’t you coach? Where are you most successful as a coach?
You see the pattern, right? You do the thing you want to do. You learn about it. You read about it. You discover how to do it by doing it. You find some free resources first. The internet is a wonderful thing. You read some books. You practice. Deliberate practice is a wonderful thing.
Now, you have done at least three things, and you can try the Rule of Three again. Maybe you have this list, maybe not:
- Create a mindmap
- Ask a coach for help
- Ask a trusted colleague for advice
- Consider a certificate program or yes, graduate school :-)
And of course, today’s question of the week, “What else could you do?”
Adaptable problem solvers have many more solutions than just one. What else could you do?