Critical Questions

By, 12/17/2012

Employers often use projects (especially on new topics) as learning tools. Starting from scratch in unfamiliar territory teaches you about related departments and gives you an opportunity to hone in on your problem solving abilities.

One misperception assumes your process needs to be concrete from beginning to end. But realistically, problem solving has much more to do with knowing the correct questions to ask—a constantly developing skill. Asking questions relevant to your task can reveal much about how to move forward: What department handles relevant information? Who else might be involved? What’s the timeline?

Asking the right questions also helps develop your critical thinking skills. With enough practice, you’ll know some answers before you even think to ask the questions. The stronger your critical thinking, the less intimidating new projects will be, and the more you’re likely to take on. Employers value those who can consistently work in unfamiliar territory and find answers.