The One Question You Should be Asking Yourself Right Now

 November 28, 2013

By  Casey Berman

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One of the most pressing questions Leave Law Behind readers share with me is: What should I do?

And What job should I go after? What else is out there? What do I do next?

And asking this question makes a lot of sense. If you’re aiming to change your current situation and leave the law, it’s only natural to wonder what you should do next.

There just one thing: asking What should I do? is unfortunately not going to lead you to the answer you want or need. Unfortunately for most of us there is no answer to the question What should I do? … yet.

Before we can answer this question, we need to ask another one: What am I good at?

And What do I like to do? What am I strong at? What am I known for?

Because the answers to the question What am I good at? will help inform the ultimate question of What should I do?

If you only ask What should I do? you won’t be working with enough to confidently say you should be an account manager for a CRM company. Or you should be a content writer for NOLO. Or you should be a HR manager for a branded food product company. Or you should branch out on your own and create your own blog. Or you should parlay your experience into a non-profit role. Or you should go back into education.

I speak from my own experience. I currently am Chief Strategy Officer of File Right. Our online product and services empower our user base to complete and file their immigration applications with the US government (similar to how online tax preparation software companies let its users complete their tax returns with the IRS). My role as CSO – leading File Right’s corporate planning, spearheading its business and corporate development approach and helping to steer the Company’s overall brand strategy – is right in line with my Unique Genius.

But when I left the law back in 2004 and began on my long, trying, full-of-murky-questions-lean-on-definite-answers journey of Unique Genius exploration and professional experimentation, if I had focused solely on resolving What should I do? and not also on getting my arms around What am I good at?, I likely would have never arrived where I am now. I would not have become confident in what I was good at (interpersonal skills, issue spotting, deal making, public speaking); I would not have extensively explored what I enjoyed (writing, making money, connecting people, making a difference); I would not have really confirmed what I’m bad at (report writing, project management, compliance, operations).

And when I was presented with the opportunity to be a Chief Strategy Officer, I had done so much work getting to know what I was good at, what I enjoyed, and what I didn’t want to do, that I confidently knew the CSO role was so right for me.

The same goes for all of us. We’re all after the right answers. And the right answers are completely dependent on asking the right questions.

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