How to be a problem solver

This article is recommended for individuals near the beginning of their careers

Skills, mindset & approach

Being a problem solver involves a combination of skills, mindset, and approaches that help you effectively identify, analyse, and solve challenges. Here's a step-by-step guide to becoming a better problem solver.

Define the problem

Clearly articulate the problem you're facing. What is the issue, and why is it a problem? Make sure you understand the root cause.

Gather information

Collect relevant data and information about the problem. This might involve research, discussions with stakeholders, or analysis of available data.

Analyse the situation

Break down the problem into smaller components. Identify patterns, trends, and possible causes that contribute to the problem. 

Generate ideas

Brainstorm potential solutions without judgment. Encourage creativity and think outside the box. Consider both conventional and innovative approaches.

Evaluate options

Assess the feasibility and potential impact of each solution. Consider the pros and cons, as well as any potential risks.

Select a solution

Choose the solution that seems most appropriate given the information and analysis. It might be a single solution or a combination of approaches.

Develop an action plan

Outline the steps required to implement the chosen solution. Define responsibilities, timelines, and resources needed.


Execute your action plan systematically. Stay organised and keep track of progress.

Adapt & iterate

Be prepared to adjust your approach as you gather feedback and learn from the implementation process. Sometimes, initial solutions may need refinement.

Reflect & learn

After implementing a solution, reflect on the outcomes. What worked well? What could be improved? Use this feedback to refine your problem-solving skills for future challenges.


Involve others who have relevant expertise or perspectives. Collaborative problemsolving can lead to more robust solutions.

Stay curious

Cultivate a curious mindset. Ask questions, explore various angles, and seek to understand deeply before jumping to conclusions.

Stay calm under pressure

Problems can be stressful, but maintaining a calm demeanour helps you think more clearly and make better decisions.

Learn from failure

Not all solutions will work as intended. Embrace failures as opportunities for learning and improvement. 

Continuously learn

Develop skills in areas relevant to your field, as a broader knowledge base can lead to more effective problem-solving.

Embrace complexity

Many problems are multifaceted. Don't shy away from complexity; instead, break it down into manageable parts.

Practice resilience

Problem-solving can be challenging. Develop resilience to persevere through difficult situations.

Stay solution-oriented

Focus on finding solutions rather than dwelling on problems. A positive and solution-oriented mindset can drive you forward.

Remember that becoming a proficient problem solver takes time and practice. Approach each challenge with a growth mindset, and over time, you'll develop the skills and confidence needed to tackle a wide range of problems effectively.

How to be a problem solver

Are you looking for a job?

Are you looking for a job?

Now that you better understand how to be a problem solver, you should take a moment to check our current vacancies page.

At 11 Recruitment, we have a range of white-collar temp and perm jobs available. We're always on the lookout for top talent to place with our clients, so we encourage you to apply for any positions that are of interest.

If none of our current vacancies are right for you, you should register for job alerts. Then we’ll be able to notify you when we receive a position that matches your profile.

Christian Madsen

What are your thoughts?

I'd love to have a conversation with you about this topic - please leave a comment below if you have any thoughts or opinions 🙂

Christian Madsen

Managing Director of 11 Recruitment

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