Skip to navigationSkip to content
TRUE NORTH

Three questions to ask yourself when you feel overwhelmed by career choices

woman on bench
AP Photo/Hassan Ammar
Our jobs are a big part of the story we tell about ourselves.
  • Sarah Todd
By Sarah Todd

Senior reporter, Quartz and Quartz at Work

Published Last updated on This article is more than 2 years old.

“Do what you love” is career advice that’s easy to give, but notoriously hard to follow. For one thing, we can’t always accurately predict what kind of job we’ll love until we’re actually doing it. For another, we may love doing a lot of things: solving math problems, helping others, interior decorating, eating pie, playing with dogs. That doesn’t exactly help narrow down the field.

“Asking yourself what do you want is in many ways the wrong question,” Sheena Iyengar, a Columbia Business School professor and author of The Art of Choosing, said at the Indeed Interactive conference in Austin, Texas, this May. “You get a bazillion options.”

There are far better queries we can make when we’re trying to choose a career path, according to Iyengar’s research. Here are three questions to ponder in order to help select the profession that’s right for you, whether you’re preparing to enter the workforce for the first time or mulling a career change.

Enrich your perspective. Embolden your work. Become a Quartz member.

Your membership supports a team of global Quartz journalists reporting on the forces shaping our world. We make sense of accelerating change and help you get ahead of it with business news for the next era, not just the next hour. Subscribe to Quartz today.

Membership includes:

こちらは英語版への登録ページです。
Quartz Japanへの登録をご希望の方はこちらから。