Meeting with people who work in a career or company that interests you is a great way to get a jump-start on your dream job. They'll not only let you know about opportunities in the field, but they can also give you some great advice based on their experience.
One of the best places to network is through a part-time job experience. Not only can you network with your fellow employees but with clients that you meet as well. If you happen to drum up relationships with individuals in careers that you'd like to pursue, ask for their phone number or email address or take them out for coffee.
Through your interactions and conversations, you can glean more about a potential job, career path or field. However, in order to get the information you need, you have to ask the right questions.
Up Close with a Career
By getting a person's perspective on his or her career, you can think about how you want to plan your own career path.
• What interested you in this career?
• Why do you think this was a good career choice?
• If you were choosing a career today, would you make the same choice?
• How did you get your job?
• What is your role in your organization?
• What is the part about your job that you like the least?
• Do you enjoy coming to work every day?
• Would you recommend that your son or daughter follow in your footsteps?
Know the Field
Get a better idea of what the industry is like.
• What are the most important qualifications to succeed in this career?
• What kinds of people have held the job I'm interested in?
• What kind of training and/or schools would you recommend for this field?
• What are the big issues in your field today?
• What are the major problems?
• What opportunities do you see arising in this field?
• What is the culture usually like in this field?
• How has the field changed since you entered it?
• Are there organizations in this field in the ________ area?
• Do you know anyone else who can tell me more about this industry?
In Good Company
Learn more about the companies in your field and make a more educated decision about who you want to work for.
• Do you know of any organizations that hire new graduates?
• What do you like about your company?
• What did you like about the previous companies you worked for?
• Do you know anyone at _________ (a company you're interested in)?
Choose the questions that are the most appropriate for your field and listen carefully to the answers you get. What you learn may be your ticket to a great job and a great career.