The AtlanticThe Atlantic

The only career advice you’ll ever need

By Arthur C. Brooks

18 May 2023 · 6 min read

Editor's Note

We all want to find a job that we love. But the question of "what" we should do is the wrong one, argues The Atlantic's Arthur Benjamin. The right question is "who" we are.

Want to stay current with Arthur’s writing? Sign up to get an email every time a new column comes out.

When we are stuck on a hard problem, it usually isn’t because we can’t find the answer; it’s that we don’t even know the right question. Imagine that you are trying to figure out how fast food can make you healthier: You are overlooking the right first question—which is whether fast food can do this. That is precisely the problem with agonizing over finding the right job and career.

Sign in to informed

  • Curated articles from premium publishers, ad-free
  • Concise Daily Briefs with quick-read summaries
  • Read, listen, save for later, or enjoy offline
  • Enjoy personalized content