I have been becoming aware of the need to find a new way of talking about the “who, what, when, where, why, and how” of work. We refer to these as the Work Interrogatives in conversations here on Career Linguist, but now as I am in the process of working through how it is that I want to talk about these in my next book project, I have realized a few problems with “work interrogatives” as a frame:
- No one really knows what I mean by “work interrogatives”
- Those who do know about the “who, what, when, where, why, and how” as a storytelling frame – journalists – think that they own these concepts (they call them the “5 w’s and the h”)!
- “interrogation” is really the wrong frame – as I was recently reminded in this post sent to me by my good friend and Career Linguist Rebecca Rubin Damari (thanks Rebecca!!) It is in fact a red flag for interviewers when interviewees approach the encounter as one in which they will interrogate.
We really want to be approaching career with curiosity, with openness, and not seeking to interrogate.
Also, I am finding that these question words pair together in interesting ways, and that rather than considering them each individually, I enjoy thinking about some of the interactions, for example: Where and When.
Nowadays, employees have more control over these domains than ever before, and further, these words serve as useful tools/reminders: where and when surface as essential tools for making the space (temporally and spatially) to think about career, and thus I would call attention to their role as career navigation tools.
So, I think that I want to instead think about these question words as tools for structuring curiosity, but I’m curious: does this way of thinking serve to stimulate momentum in your own career navigation?
- If you are in the DC area, come on out tomorrow to the Career Linguist happy hour at James Hoban’s Pub
- Put “where and when” into practice for yourself by making some time to attend a work session on the Mighty Network (they tend to be on T/Th mornings, join the community to learn more)
- Catch up on some of the past conversations we have been having about the work interrogatives.
And send me your thoughts!!!