“Get Set” to Interview for Information

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Interviewing for information presents one of the greatest challenges to job seekers — yet it’s still the Number One way most people change careers. When you network this way, you aren’t asking for a job — just learning more about the culture, skills and informal rules of a new career. Here are seven tips to GET SET for your networking challenge.

G = Grow! . Begin anywhere! Talk to friends, neighbors, professionals — anyone but your coworkers and present employer. Begin the chain of “know someone who knows someone who” After each meeting, get at least three new names to cal. You can also:

Join professional associations.

Attend lunch meetings of other professional associations.

Take graduate classes.

Attend alumni association meetings.

Become visible within your professional and geographic community.

E= Elevator speech. Prepare a twenty-second summary to answer the question, “Who are you and why are you talking to me?” You’ll need separate speeches for each option you investigate

T = Target. Network to those who can help, not necessarily those easiest to find. Talking to ten sales assistants probably won’t help you learn how managers hire sales people.

S= Strangers: Chances are people who know you will have trouble imagining you in a new career. Recruiters prefer to present applicants with a job-specific track record.

E = Enthusiasm. If you are truly interested in the topic, others will respond positively. They’ll know if you’re just going through the motions.

T = Thank you note – at least a brief email saying, “I enjoyed talking with you. I appreciated learning about [industry] and [jobs] especially []. I will be following up with Joe Smith, Mary Jones and Earline Edwards.”

And then move on! If you’ve followed the GET SET steps, you have at least three new people to call. And one of those calls may hold the key your very exciting Second Career.

Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D., is an author, speaker and career/business consultant. Your Next Move Ezine: Read one each week and watch your choices grow!

“Get Set” to Interview for Information
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