Every day students interact with adults who have a wide range of career backgrounds and experiences. The most valuable way to learn more about what a job field is like is to talk with individuals who are in that career already. Most people are more than willing to share their insights and experiences with students. Some may even be able to allow you to shadow and spend a day with them.
Here are some questions that can help get you started in identifying points you might want to learn when talking to someone in a career of interest:
- What do you do on a typical day?
- How did you prepare for your career?
- What is your educational background?
- How did you get your present job?
- What qualifications and personal characteristics does someone need in order to be successful in this career?
- What do you like most about your job/ career?
- What do you dislike about it?
- What courses should I take to help prepare for this career?
- Is this a career field that is growing?
- Are there opportunities for advancement?
- Are there any related careers I should consider?
- Would you go into this career field again?
- Do you have any advice for someone considering a career in this field?
One general tip is that if someone spends time sharing their career related insights and telling you their story then you should follow up with a thank you note to demonstrate your appreciation for their time and assistance.