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An article I co-authored which was originally published at Forbes.comAs the saying goes, “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know.” In other words, people prefer what they know to what they don’t, even if what they know isn’t good for them. This can be a major barrier when it comes to your career. If you’ve been considering making a change but have remained stuck for longer than you want to admit, it may be time to take a closer look at your priorities. Below, members of Forbes Coaches Council share one question they’d ask clients to get them thinking differently about their careers.


1. What if Tomorrow Were Your Funeral?

Imagine you have an invitation for tomorrow — and it’s for your own funeral. What would you like to hear from your family members and colleagues when they talk about your life and your career? Sometimes talking about life as a millionaire is not enough for clients to get serious. It is much more powerful to make them realize that wasting any day due to current career choices is too much if you can and want to do better in life. – Michaela Lindingerbrain in spa

2. Does It Drain You or Energize You?

If you are operating from your genius zone that aligns with purpose, it will always energize you. Even beyond the hustle and work stressors, aligning your sweet spot and purpose will always give you energy. Think about what brings you joy in your work, what feels like breathing to you, and do more of it. Anxiety and energy drain is a sure sign you need a new direction in your career. – Jen KelchnerTeenTrep.co

3. What Are Your Goals?

I love asking my clients what their goals are, both personally and professionally. Goal definition leads to strategy, and if you and your career coach are in alignment on what your immediate, short-term and long-range goals are, you will have a more successful campaign. – Geoff CoonResume Platform, LLC

4. What Would You Do Every Day for Free?

Passion is a big motivator in finding and excelling in the right career. Figuring out what you would do every day if money wasn’t a factor ties into your passion and what intrinsically motivates you. Your career isn’t just a job; it becomes part of your lifestyle. In order to develop a plan for long-term success make sure you prioritize doing something, you love, not something you tolerate. – Ariel Lopez2020Shift

5. If Money Were No Object, What Would Be Your Ideal Career?

Money is often a driving force when professionals select a career. As a former practicing attorney, I often asked myself, if a six-figure salary didn’t matter, what would I really want to do? Take money out of the equation, and our clients would be able to focus on their passion and the type of work that makes them happy rather than feel “stuck” or “trapped” in a career they despise. – Wendi Weiner, JD, NCRW, CPRW, CCTC, CCMTheWritingGuru

6. How Do You Want to Be Remembered?

Imagine you are retiring and are looking back on your career. Ideally, how would you like to be remembered by bosses, peers, direct reports, customers, competitors, your family? If that’s your destination, are you on a path to be remembered as you’ve described? What changes do you need to make to achieve that ideal? What do you need to continue doing to ensure the ideal you described? – Bill GardnerNoetic Outcomes Consulting, LLC

7. How Much Passion Do You Have in Your Work Each Day?

The first question I ask all of my clients is, “On a scale from 1-10, how much passion do you have in your work each day?” Do you know what the most common two answers are? One and none! If you want to produce extraordinary results, you are going to need passion. When times are tough, passion will drive you. Asking this question helps you realize what’s missing and what needs to be done. – Brett BaughmanThe Brett Baughman Companies, Inc.

8. When Were You Last Your Best at Work?

I ask all my clients the following in succession, whenever we’re having a career discussion: When were you last at your best at work? Think of a time when you felt in “flow.” What were you doing? What are three words that express how you felt? Once a person considers this, a lot comes up. They’re typically energized, optimistic and find meaning. – Cha TekeliChalamode, Inc.

9. Do You Hate What You Do or Who You Do it For?

Some clients come to me because they are unhappy at work and think they want to change careers. I ask questions about their relationship with their boss and how connected they feel to their company’s culture. Frequently, people don’t hate what they do but rather hate who they do it for. Understanding this opens up a dialogue for moving forward and finding an opportunity that is a better fit. – Barbara SafaniCareer Solvers

Michaela Lindinger is the creator of the NOWING® Formula, a strategy used internationally by millennial talents to maximize their professional performance and stay healthy in the digital future of work. She is also the founder and CEO of braininspa. Connect with her here.

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