A great way to explore your career options is to hear about what it is like to work in a field that you are interested in. You can conduct an informational interview before you are actually looking for work, so it takes away the pressure. Not only do you generate some excellent connections, but you can also suss out whether you actually would enjoy that type of work.
Steps to take:
- Find someone you respect who works in an area you are interested in.
- Politely ask their permission to meet with them over coffee. Explain that you are interested in working in that field and want to find out more about the role. Tell them why you chose them.
- Agree to a time and stick to their allocated time commitment.
- Choose your questions; see below for examples.
- Say thanks with a card or politely worded email.
Never ask for a job! The purpose of an informational interview is only to gather information.
- Bring your CV (only provide it if they ask for it).
How did you get into this role/position?
What do you like most about what you do, and what would you change if you could?
How do people generally break into this field?
What does a typical career path look like in your industry?
What are some of the biggest challenges facing this area today?
Are there any professional or trade associations I should connect with?
If you were just getting involved now, where would you put yourself?
What’s a typical day like for you?
How has your role differed from your expectations?
What have been the greatest moments and biggest challenges?
You may want to use the ePortfolio tool on CareerHub to record your reflections.