We have all been there: It is 45 minutes into an hour long interview and the person holding our resume asks what seems like their final question. “Do you have any questions for me?” If you have done some preparing you likely have many specific questions about the organization and position. However, there is probably one question you have failed to ask that could increase your chances of securing an offer for the position.
There are three important aspects to consider when choosing a career, whether for the first time or tenth. Many times people confuse these three things and my job is to help them sort out how each of these three aspects impact their career decisions. The first aspect is your interests. Put simply, what do you like doing? What types of activities do enjoy doing on a daily basis? What things excite and energize you? The second aspect is your abilities. In other words, what are you good at doing? In what areas do you excel? Many people get these two aspects confused and intertwined.
When contemplating a change in your professional life there are many ways of achieving your desired outcomes. These outcomes are usually what prompt your desire for change. For example, you may want to feel differently, to have more time to pursue hobbies or spend with loved ones, or to simply spend your days doing something that is more or less challenging than your current work.
A commonly recommended task in seeking out a new career or job (whether for the first time job-seeker or the transitioning worker) is conducting an informational interview. In this type of interview, the job seeker is the interviewer of the person in a position which interests him/her. Many times the informational interview occurs before the job seeker has settled on his/her next career move.
This question does not have a single answer for every person. Making a career change looks different for everyone, so there is no linear equation into which you program yourself and produce your next career move. In fact, many suggest that career decisions and career transitions are not linear at all.