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Unusual Career Questions

11/9/2006 5:50:28 PM

By Sheng Wang

Asking questions can be a powerful tool in exploring a person's deepest beliefs, values, dreams, and fears. This principle has been used by Socrates and psychoanalysts, as well as by Gregory Stock, author of the best-selling The Book of Questions. With that in mind, here's a list of unusual and entertaining questions to help you gain some fresh insights into your working life.

  • If you won the lottery next week, would you still keep your job?

  • Which job-related skills have helped you in daily life? Which skills from your daily life have helped you in your work?

  • What visual metaphor would you use to describe your career? (e.g. a rushing river, a painting in progress, a bonsai tree that needs to be carefully tended and pruned.)

  • If you were to make a TV drama based on your workplace, what would a typical episode look like?

  • If it were up to you, what would be the mandatory age of retirement? Should there be a mandatory age at all?

  • Name three things you've done at work that you would never admit to your supervisor.

  • If it were feasible to pursue two careers at once (or in the case of working parents, three careers at once), what would you choose as a second career? Would this career be similar to your current one or something completely different?

  • If you could trade 10 years of your life for a phenomenally successful career, would you do it?

  • Which job(s) would you happily do for free?

  • If you could go back in time, and change one decision you made about your education or career, what would it be?

  • Have you ever compromised your personal values for work?

  • What was your biggest work-related worry a year ago? Five years ago? Is it still relevant now?

  • When coworkers become friends, does it increase or decrease their productivity?

  • Which three songs would you choose to represent your working life?

  • If antidiscrimination and affirmative action laws did not exist, would you consider age, sex, race, sexual orientation, nationality, appearance, or other "forbidden" criteria when hiring staff?

  • Name one thing that you're doing today which you couldn't have imagined five years ago.

  • Do you think women's average earnings will equal that of men within the next 20 years? Why or why not?

  • If you could subliminally plant three suggestions in your supervisor's mind, what would they be?

  • If you only had 10 years left to live, but would remain healthy during that time, how would you change your life?

  • What makes you proud of your work?

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