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Time, Reputation And The Informational Interview

By October 2, 2019 October 9th, 2019 No Comments
J. Kelly Hoey - Build Your Dream Network

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.

J. Kelly Hoey

J. Kelly Hoey

Kelly Hoey is the author of Build Your Dream Network (January 2017 / Tarcher Perigee). She has been lauded from Forbes (“1 of 5 Women Changing the World of VC/Entrepreneurship”) to Fast Company (“1 of the 25 Smartest Women On Twitter”) to Business Insider (“1 of the 100 Most Influential Tech Women On Twitter”) and Inc. (1 of “10 Most Well-Connected People in New York City's Startup Scene”). Empowering A Billion Women By 2020 included her on their list of the “100 Most Influential Global Leaders Empowering Women Worldwide”. Not bad for a former corporate lawyer. She’s a limited partner in two emerging tech funds (Laconia Capital Group and Lattice Ventures) and can frequently be found on Twitter @jkhoey.