Career change is such a hot topic, that I am just putting the finishing touches on a career change guide. Whether you’re a willing career changer or someone making a move because of the down economy, here is an informative contribution written by Charlene Nora.
By Charlene Nora
The uncertainty and angst that accompanies the decision to make a career change is understandable. The what ifs, the unknown and the general ambiguity is enough to keep you stuck in cold cubicle nation. Yet there are ways to limit or eliminate the uncertainty. In two words – Informational Interview. Traditionally, the informational interview is something a job seeker would do to determine a company’s culture and required skill set for a particular job. But when networking to figure out the next step in your career journey, an informational interview is the absolute best step.
How To Perform an Informational Interview:
* Ask for An Interview. This may seem obvious but often we make assumptions about professions based on your perspective or the opinions of others. To dispel myths and learn first hand what a job is like, speak to someone who is actually doing the job. Make it clear that this is just for information. Express your interest in their career and explain your motivation for performing the interview. Most people love to talk about their jobs and what they do.
* Prepare. Treat this as if it were a job interview. Be professional in your attire, conduct and approach. Have your list of questions ready and adhere to any requests of the interviewee.
* Ask the right questions. Often in life we stay under a cloud of uncertainty not for lack of knowledge nor access to information. Rather we stay uninformed and uncertain because we fail to ask the right questions. The purpose of this interview is to identify if this future career is for you. Don’t limit questions to education requirements and salary ranges. What about creativity, innovation, flexibility? Ask questions that relate to your values and what you want your future life to look like. If this is a career change for you, you want to get it right don’t you? Choose a career that strikes a balance between your financial, environmental and psychological needs.
* Say Thank You. Handwritten notes are almost a thing of the past now but don’t underestimate their value. Within 24 hours of completing the interview follow up with a sincere thank you. If possible enclose a personal “Ah-ha” that you gained from the experience. Most people love to hear about the influence they have had on others. Who knows, your next job offer could come from the person you interviewed.
The peace that comes from making a decision based on information gathered is priceless. While you will probably not get every answer you desire, this critical piece is sure to provide a balanced career picture. Performing an informational interview is an integral part of networking in the current job market. It requires taking a proactive approach to your life. A career change requires assessing and identifying your values and doing everything in your power to bring to life the image of the life you would like to lead.
If you enjoyed this article, I would like to invite you to grab a free copy of my e-book: Dull to Fiery Career in 5 Steps when you visit . With these steps you identify the source of your discontent and are given tools to create the life you want. As a career change expert, I am devoted to helping anyone who wants to find their lucrative career path while building the life they dream of. You could always learn more about me by visiting my blog: https://avitacareermanagement.com/a-career-change-the-first-step-2/ where I frequently talk about the many aspects of career change.