Importance of Goal Setting

Develop long-term and short-term goals for yourself and for your career. Using the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely) model can help you grow accountable for your goals. Also be sure to re-evaluate your goals and adjust them as necessary.

Conducting Your Informational Interview

Remember, your interview can be conducted in person, via e-mail or another electronic source, or over the telephone.

You should not use this interview as an opportunity to ask for a job.

You should not ask very personal questions during the interview. It is fine to ask the subject about their satisfaction in their position or similar questions but use your judgment and try to eliminate any questions that may be considered inappropriate.

You should not ask questions that can be answered by doing research. For example, questions about salary ranges and educational requirements can easily be answered by researching the position or career field. Make your questions meaningful.

Preparing for Your Informational Interview

Identify your purpose for the interview. What do you want to know about your chosen career? What unanswered questions do you have?

Remember, your interview can be conducted in person, via e-mail or another electronic source, or over the telephone.

Prepare a list of opened ended questions for the subject to answer ( we recommend asking no more than 15 questions).

The questions should be geared toward helping you to get a better understanding of the field in general.  It is okay to ask questions about the person’s experiences in the field and in their current position.  This assignment gives you the opportunity to gather information that you would not normally be able to attain from a general Google search or even an occupation handbook.

Usefulness of Informational Interviewing

Informational interviews are really great, especially if you are not sure what you want to do in your career. You can ask for an informational interview or informal meeting with anyone who has a job or background you are interested in pursuing.

Career Exploration: SWOT Analysis

A SWOT Analysis can be a great resource to utilize during your career exploration. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.  Take a look at this interesting article: Analyze your career potential with a personal SWOT.  http://career-advice.monster.com/job-search/career-assessment/Analyze-Your-Career-with-a-SWOT/article.aspx

Mentoring and Successful Career Progression

Mentorship can be an excellent way to make meaningful connections with professionals and explore potential careers. Find a mentor and ask them about their experiences. Questions you may want to ask: “How did you get started in your field?”, “What type of education is necessary to work in your field?”, etc. See this article to learn more about finding a mentor: http://www.forbes.com/sites/kerryhannon/2011/10/31/how-to-find-a-mentor/2/

National Disability Employment Awareness Month and Disability Mentoring Day

In observance of National Disability Employment Awareness Month and Disability Mentoring Day, we will be posting career development tips throughout October. Each day we will post tips related to career exploration, goal setting, resume and cover letter writing, interviewing, networking, and many other topics. Be sure to join us through October and connect through LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter!