An informational call is a great way to get an insider’s opinion on the industry of your dreams. Usually, these types of calls will involve a young person eager to learn to ask a more experienced professional about their career trajectory, workplace, how to advance in a specific field or profession, and general tips and advice.
However, there are three important questions that are hardly ever asked by young professionals during informal calls. If you are preparing for one, remember to ask about these topics – it will make the call much more valuable for your future.
Question 1: What new skills are becoming increasingly relevant for sector X?
Experienced professionals will not only know the current reality of work, but they can also discern upcoming trends and identify pressing needs. Especially at a time when a global pandemic has forced many workplaces to adapt to a changing world, it is important to ask what kind of new skills you should be investing in. It could be learning a new language, becoming familiar with an up and coming social media platform, or knowing how to manage webinars – as technology advances and sectors are increasingly globalized, there are always gaps that need to be filled.
If you know the main trends for skills that will be in demand, you will be one step ahead of other young professionals when trying to breakthrough!
Question 2: Can you tell me about informal networking for sector X?
All sectors have their main channels of networking. When it comes to social media, some sectors prefer LinkedIn, others have popular Facebook groups, and others are mainly present on Twitter – knowing which channels feature job leads and events will help you focus on social media that can actually benefit your future and not just distract you.
There are also key events – such as yearly conferences – where influencers and leaders of the sector are expected to be present. Although these types of events can be expensive, it can pay off to travel there and network; but it is always best to make sure it will actually feature organizations and professionals that can advance your career.
Question 3: What resources should I check to stay informed about sector X?
Professionals of any sector have their preferred information sources. From distinguished newspapers and magazines to journals and blogs, the main debates and trends of each sector are dissected by professionals of different backgrounds. However, it can be hard to know where to look for this information – it is not exactly the kind of thing you learn at university, but rather something that an experienced professional can share with you.
It is very important to know about these sources of information because they will allow you to stay connected with the practitioners of the sector, even if you have to work in a different area for a while or if you go back to school. Interested in the most-read International Relations sources? We’ve got them.
Once you know what kind of skills you need to invest in, where to network and how to stay informed, you will be able to design your own personal development plan to achieve the job you want. By speaking the language of the sector, rubbing shoulders with key players, and showcasing a much-needed innovative skillset, you will reach your goals much faster.
Remember that an informational call is not a job interview, so you can be honest about your knowledge and experience gaps. Experienced professionals will always appreciate young people eager to learn and will happily point you in the right direction – you just have to make sure to ask the right questions.
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