How Informational Interviews Help You Learn About Possible Career Paths

A young woman learns about different career paths through informational interviews

There’s been a big shake-up in the workplace in the past two years, and you might be asking yourself how you may be able to transfer relevant skills and experience to a different industry. Perhaps you’re looking to work in the same general field, but are curious about possible career paths in different organizations. Or, maybe you’re seeking career progression for the sake of better pay, greater responsibility or both. 

Wherever you find yourself in your career path, it’s always beneficial to have more information before you make any professional changes. Informational interviewing can help you learn more about any possible career paths you may be considering.

What Is Informational Interviewing?

In an informational interview, you ask a knowledgeable professional for information about their career. That’s right – you become the interviewer. These discussions tend to be informal in nature and should not be seen as an opportunity to ask for a job. Most likely, the professionals you ask to share their career path story will not work in HR and will not be looking to dole out any favors to someone they just met. 

The person you speak with will, however, be excited to explain their professional journey, daily tasks they are responsible for and any advice they deem applicable to your particular career goals. 

While this counsel is useful, if it doesn’t directly result in landing a job then why should you spend time setting up these informational interviews?

What Are The Benefits Of Informational Interviews?

The knowledge you gain from informational interviews will be invaluable as you begin mapping out possible career paths. The interviewee will be able to share the realities of the workplace not only through their personal experiences but possibly even through their own network connections. 

If you chose a mid- or senior-level professional to interview, you might learn how they climbed to the top and some practical tips on how to land your first position in this journey. Additionally, the professional might be inclined to share how they  might have done things differently if they could restart their own career path. 

Ultimately, you may realize the industry or organization does not belong on your own career path; one or two interviews can save you potentially years of learning the hard way! At the very least, you now have a new business connection who can point you in another direction or set up an interview with someone in their network.

Informational interviews provide indispensable knowledge when researching possible career paths and bring you one step closer to landing a new job.

4 Stages Of Becoming A Valuable, Competent New Employee

A young man is becoming a competent employee

You’ve spent weeks arduously crafting your resume, filling out countless applications, preparing for multiple interviews and you’ve finally accepted an offer. While the job search may be over, it’s important to prepare for the learning curve that lies ahead. As you start a new job, especially if you switched industries, you may not be as competent as you’d prefer, a discouraging fact for many. What follows are four phases you should become familiar with as you acclimate to your new job and strive to become an impactful,  competent employee.  

Stage 1: Starting a new job is exciting 

At this initial stage you’re relieved to be finished with applications and excited to prove yourself as a competent employee. As such, you display a high level of enthusiasm to your managers and coworkers. Perhaps you show up to work early, dress to impress and maintain an optimistic attitude at all times. You also progress through job training and learn about your company’s products, services, management style and culture. As the honeymoon experience reaches its peak, however, ominous clouds of anxiety may start to form as you begin to comprehend how much more you need to learn to become more competent at your job. 

Stage 2: Starting a new job requires commitment and learning

During the second and most difficult stage, you’ve confronted the reality of how much you don’t understand in order to perform your job duties competently. It may discourage you by how often you make mistakes or appear unknowledgeable. This discouragement can negatively impact your motivation to work. After all, no one enjoys being an incompetent employee. But rest assured, supportive managers will be patient and encourage you during this phase. 

So, what should you do during this phase? Despite the letdowns, it is crucial that you as an employee learn from your mistakes quickly and persevere through the emotions that come with failure. Your future professional self will greatly benefit from sticking it out. In the meantime, find consolation in your increased competence thus far.

Stage 3: Becoming a knowledgeable, confident and competent employee

In this third stage, despite any initial misunderstandings, you’ve learned a tremendous amount about your role in the company, how to mesh with your coworkers and the overall work environment. You probably feel more confident as you look back on your work journey and see how much you’ve grown. Your manager and team members find you a more competent employee, who they can rely on to complete tasks in a timely manner and with much less assistance.  

Stage 4: Commitment transforms you into a competent employee

Congratulations on becoming a highly capable employee! After all the time and effort you’ve put into the new job, you can complete much of your work automatically. Your manager is confident that, when delegated tasks, you will deliver results without a lot of additional detailed directions. As a competent member of the team, perhaps it’s time you start asking for more responsibility or working toward a promotion. 

Becoming proficient at your profession takes time and hard work. The beginning stages in your new job will be challenging, but do your best to learn something new everyday. Every piece of knowledge will bring you one step closer to becoming a competent employee and team member in your company.

Laid Off? Here’s How To Get A Job Now

Upset businesswoman feel unmotivated trying to apply for jobs

Life over the past year and a half has taken plenty of twists and turns. This fact definitely applies to the job market. Since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, many people have been laid off due to less work and closing businesses.

It can be hard to get back on your feet and find your next opportunity after being laid off. As such, Josephine’s Professional Staffing has come up with a few tips to help you land that next job after being laid off.

1).  Allocate Time To Your Job Search

According to this article from Indeed, you should, “treat your job search like a job.” This is one of the best tips for finding a new position after you’ve been laid off. The more time you spend on refreshing your resume, editing your cover letter and reaching out to potential employers, the more likely you are to find that next opportunity. It might seem obvious, but spend that time you would’ve spent at your previous job looking for your next one. 

2).  Update Your LinkedIn Profile

This tip is a crucial one for finding a job once you’ve been laid off. Along with refreshing your resume and cover letter template, don’t forget to update your LinkedIn profile, or make one if you haven’t already. If you were at your previous job for a while, then there’s a good chance your profile has remained untouched. A large number of employers are turning to platforms like LinkedIn exclusively when hiring, so it’s very important that everything looks put together on your profile. 

This article from The Muse suggests that you should do things like add keywords to your profile in order to show up in recruiter searches, ask for LinkedIn recommendations and try making “thought leadership” posts to your newsfeed to draw attention to your profile.  

3).  Try Something New

Finding inspiration after being laid off can be challenging. However, this could be a perfect time to try a career in a different industry. This might not always be possible due to finances or job requirements, but if you end up spotting an opportunity that you’ve always wanted, don’t be afraid to take the jump – even if it’s not what you’re used to. 

Being laid off can help you reassess your goals and priorities. Have you always wanted to switch things up? This could be your chance. Additionally, you may find that other industries have more job openings, making it easier for you to find a job after being laid off. 

You might feel defeated after being laid off but there’s no reason to! There are plenty of jobs out there waiting for you to apply. Let us help you find that next opportunity!
Want to learn more job search tips and industry news to help you grow your career? Visit the Josephine’s Professional Staffing blog for a variety of posts on the topic.

How to Use A Staffing Agency and What Josephine’s Professional Staffing Can Do for You

No matter where you are in your career, or how long you plan to remain in your current position, it is never a bad idea to have a staffing agency on your side. Whether you have a business looking for employees or are an individual who is looking for work, allying with a staffing agency may be one of the smartest moves you can make.

What Sets Josephine’s Professional Staffing Agency Apart?

JPS takes pride in our ability to build bridges between our employees and our clients. JPS is a staffing agency with over 30 years of experience matching our clients with employees to fit every need. 

For a business, we understand it can be extremely difficult to find a perfect fit for a position – a hire who is not only be great at doing the job itself and also fits into the environment and be willing to stick around as long as it takes to complete the work.  

We offer:

  • Temporary contract matching, perfect for clients that need a job done but are hesitant to bring on a full-time employee. 
  • Temporary-to-hire matching, ideal for those clients who need a new employee, but want to try them out first. 
  • Direct hire placement, finding the perfect candidate for the position you need filled and getting them started as soon as possible.

We also have decades of experience with, and are happy to provide, vendor-on-premise contracts and payroll services.Contact Josephine’s Professional Staffing Agency Today

No matter your industry or field of business, enlisting a staffing agency is always a good idea. Not only can we fill executive positions, we also excel at filling:

  • Administrative/clerical 
  • Accounting and finance
  • Engineering
  • Healthcare/medical 
  • Light industrial or manufacturing jobs

When it comes to making sure our employees and clients are matched perfectly, few staffing agencies come close to JPS. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your company. For more recommendations on increasing employee engagement, read additional articles on our blog today! Or, if you’re looking for a new position, see our current job listings!

How to Craft an Effective Cover Letter

Girl working on a laptop.

A cover letter is just as important as a resume for a job application; it gives job seekers a format to showcase to potential employers the reasons they are the best candidate for the job.

Writing a cover letter is challenging, and before you begin you’ll want to understand the dynamics of the company, the challenges and trends they might be facing, and how your knowledge and skills as an employee will bring value and enthusiasm to the position.

To get you started, let’s go through the entire document and review the beginning, middle and end of an effective cover letter.

Continue reading “How to Craft an Effective Cover Letter”