Last Spring, I was invited to a graduation party. The busy living room was filled with recent graduates. You could feel the energy and enthusiasm around the room as my friends celebrated their welcome to the “real world”. Circling the room I struck up a conversation about what they wanted to do now that they were finished their degrees. Few had specific plans. But most said that they wanted or needed to find a job and laughed when I asked if they knew what kind of work they wanted to do. This came as no surprise. Having graduated just one year prior, I could relate to the realities of not knowing where to go next.
The old expression holds true. People only know what they know. It’s hard to figure out what jobs are right for you when you don’t even know what kind of opportunities are out there!
Looking back, regardless of your current situation. Whether you’re: in school and exploring, graduated and looking for work, employed and in need of a change or just curious, you’re probably wondering… “Where do I start?”
Having traveled across the country and meeting over 100 career experts ONE incredibly powerful idea stands out in my mind...informational interviews.
To quote Google: “An informational interview is a meeting between you and a professional. The purpose is to help define your career options or research a company where you want to work. It is NOT a job interview. Do not expect anyone to make you an offer.”
Simply put, informational interviews are an opportunity to:
- Explore a company’s corporate culture
- Understand specific work realities in your profession of interest
- Unravel the unspoken details about industries from an insider
- Expand your professional network
- And so much more!
Informational interviews are like the answer key at the end of the textbook or the cheat sheet on your final exam. Instead of having to reinvent the wheel to your dream career you ask an expert to explain or show you how to do it. It is the single, most simple, powerful and effective method to begin actively shaping your future.
ARE INFORMATIONAL INTERVIEWS REALLY THAT EFFECTIVE?
The short answer is - YES, YES, YES! They are low risk, low pressure, non-intrusive opportunities to connect with professionals of interest. You aren’t asking for a JOB. In return, what you’re offering each interviewee to feel like a highly regarded expert. Their advice is going to make a meaningful impact on your life. This hits home because on a fundamental level, most people enjoy sharing their knowledge and reveling in this feeling of supporting an engaged, curious and passionate youth. Sounds easy right?
In the last three months we’ve set up over 100 informational interviews and created an engaged network of professionals who have become the backbone of our research on youth employment. Having done this countless times we want to share with you our MOST EFFECTIVE strategies to set up and rock these interviews!
Our free ebook guide takes the reader through the best practices for researching companies, reaching out to the right contacts, and scheduling, preparing, and conducting informational interviews. The easily digestible information is a great resource for youth, educators and career practitioners inside and outside the classroom. Visit the Road to Employment Kickstarter campaign to download it now.
ABOUT CLINTON AND DENIS
Clinton Nellist and Denis Luchyshyn are two recent graduates from the University of Victoria whose project “Road to Employment” is a film focused “how-to” manual on youth employment. They’ve embarked on a cross-country journey through Canada to bring you the best way to land the job of your dreams. Featured on GlobalTV’s Morning News Montreal with Richard Dagenais, and CJAD 800AM’s Tommy Schnurmacher Show with James Mennie these two are cruising to a town near you. See our website for tips, short films, and industry expert advice to advance your career.