Your most valuable assets are not your house, car or 401(k) (sorry financial planners). Rather, IMHO your three most valuable assets are: time, relationships and reputation. This is all you have. All I have. All anyone has.
Of the three, time is the most valuable.
Reputations can be rebuilt. Relationships ebb and flow. Time? It is the ultimate limited resource. Once it is gone, it is gone. That’s precisely why I’m tackling the informational interview on the podcast.
Whether you’re contemplating a career change or actively seeking a job, informational interviews are vital. These conversations are a source of insider information and whisper network leads. And by definition, an informational interview requires someone else voluntarily giving up their time (along with tips, suggestions and hopefully contacts) for you.
Seek other people’s time wisely.
For example, you don’t want to waste someone’s time (and your chance to make a valuable career connection) with general background questions in an informational interview when a few minutes researching online could have you armed you with information to make a smarter “here’s why I’d value a few minutes of your time” ask.
Before you start knocking on doors for informational interviews listen to this week’s podcast episode.
If you’re at the exploratory “not sure what’s next” phase of your job search, I have an additional recommendation for you: spend some time exploring what you want to do before you reach out.
- Do you need bigger challenges?
- Are you seeking higher pay?
- More flexibility?
- A more collaborative work environment?
- Or, do you have entrepreneurial ambitions?
Document your ideas and ambitions, whether it is on a vision board or spreadsheet or doodles in a notebook – then sit back and reflect on what you’ve put down. Your imagination may be more sure about what’s next than you think.
And here’s another reason why you should do some self-reflection before you start networking via informational interviews: it is easier to ask for help and you’ll receive better advice, if you know what you want (or at least the direction you’re headed) – and your network will give you more of their time too.