Based on an exercise by Bob Thomson, here is a sequence of questions that can help anyone to work through the wilderness of career planning. Ask a friend to read it to you and write down your thoughts on each question. It can take up to 30 minutes. Alternatively, read the questions and answer them one by one. Some questions may be irrelevant to you or seem to repeat another question. In these cases, ignore them. A. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. What is the career issue that occupies you now? Imagine that you have successfully addressed it. What does success look like? What does success feel like? What do you really, really want? Where would you be after you succeed? B. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. What is going on that makes this an issue for you? Who is involved? What are the key elements that make the situation? Who are the stakeholders? What assumptions are you making? What - if anything - have you already done to address it? What has been the effect of what you have done so far? C. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. What options do you have? If you thought of all the safe options, what are the wild options? What would you loose, if you went for the wild options? If you had absolutely no constraints - of time, money, health, etc. - what would you do? If it was a good friend's problem - what would you say to them? D. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. You have just generated a set of options. Looking back at these options, rate them on a scale of 1 to 10 on how practical they seem. Looking over the list of options, which options will you actually pursue? For each chosen option, what specifically will you do? What else do you need? Who can help you? What deadlines will you set? Be specific. What is the first step that you will take?