Whether you’re looking to make a lateral job transition to a new industry or trying to achieve a major career overhaul, the process from the vision of your dream career to actually getting your foot in the door for an interview never seems like a straight shot.
Let’s start by breaking down the process to make it easier on yourself.
CHANGE YOUR MINDSET ABOUT INTERVIEWS – BOTH INFORMATIONAL AND JOB CANDIDATE, REAL-DEAL TYPE STUFF
Let’s distinguish what we refer to as an informational interview.
An informational interview is a conversation.
It’s a casual conversation with someone at an organization that you want to work for or it could be with someone who is in the position you’re looking to transition to.
The point of the informational interview is to find out more about this particular job that you’re interested in pursuing. Find out as much information as possible about the position, the person in the position, and their story and experience in that position (or their career in general).
Get some expert tips about the career you’re looking to transition to.
FIND THE EASY “ASK”
Do you have a friend that has gone through a career change? Maybe they know someone who knows someone that has successfully transitioned jobs or works in an industry you want to get into?
All it takes is asking your friend if they can connect you.
Here is a sample script in case you need one:
“Hey. I’ve been really excited about _____ of the ______ industry, I know that your friend works for _______. I’m hoping to ask them just a couple of questions about their experience about getting into the industry…would you be willing to introduce us?”
Then all you have to do it send off a quick email with 3 questions to start the conversation.
MAKE IS EASY FOR THEM TO SAY, “YES.”
When you score an interview, go into the meeting with the mindset that you’re not just a job seeker. Approach the meeting without the expectation of coming out of it with a job offer.
It helps to understand that the people meeting with you are making an extra effort to talk to you. So, you want to make it count and make it worth it to them. You want to make the most of the mutual effort by not only doing your research, but having your questions ready to go.
Keeping the tone casual during an informational interview will allow the conversation to flow and provide for a better exchange. It will also allow you the ability to add value to your name and what you can offer by identifying some of the issues the organization struggles with and provide different solutions and perspectives to add to the organization’s existing toolbox.
HOW DO YOU ADD VALUE?
Even if you go into the interview without expectations of a job, people have to believe that you can do the job. You want to demonstrate in a different capacity and interact with them your ability to do the job (…whatever that may be).
One thing that separates people is enthusiasm and that self-starter drive. Organizations are always looking for people that want to find solutions and fill the knowledge gap.
During your conversation, take note and apply your experiences to become part of the solution to their issues and go more in-depth to set yourself up on how you can add value to their organization, meet more people, and start more conversations.
DON’T FORGET TO FOLLOW-UP
Another way to give value is to send a follow-up. It doesn’t have to be business-related either.
You just want the other person to know that your conversation mattered and that it was meaningful to you. Show that the conversation had an impact on you and not in a way that you are expecting something in return.
It’s not always about business. We’re all people and taking the time to find out more about someone shows that you’re looking to expand your knowledge and that you’re serious about learning more.
Making sure that I was doing my best to feel like I had given something that really pushed me to think about, ‘Well if I can’t give something from a career or a job-focused perspective there are other things you can do for folks – even if it’s recommending a good YouTube video.’ It shows that you care in a way that’s natural and fun.Michael Bigelow
“SOMETIMES YOU CAN STRETCH YOURSELF, AND SOMETIMES YOU NEED A TEAM OF PEOPLE TO KIND OF STRETCH YOU BEYOND YOUR BEST.”
If you’re ready for the next steps to take your career from good to great and need help gaining that outside perspective on your career and life to draw out the best and brightest spots of your unique combination of strengths, skills, and experience, we’ve got expert career coaches available to help create a road map to get you to your picture-perfect career situation.
Head on over to www.happentoyourcareer.com/coaching to work with one of our coaches and figure out your career blind spots and identify your BIG value-adds to guide you through your career change.
EPISODE LINKS AND RESOURCES
Guest: MICHAEL BIGELOW
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