Getting the inside track

In a recent article on career choices, Talk to people doing the kind of work you’d love to do, Careers Coach John Lees emphasises the importance of doing just that, and offers useful advice on where to begin when thinking about your career plan and how to research your options.

Once you’ve narrowed down your potential choices, speaking to people in your chosen area is a great way to get an insight into the day-to-day realities of a job, and may help in deciding if a particular path is for you – especially when job titles and descriptions can sound more appealing than practice may bear out, or don’t always explain what a job actually involves.

You should also be able to get some background on the industry culture, and on your contact’s particular organisation or company. What are the key issues facing the sector? Do people work long hours?  Are projects delivered quickly or do they take a long time to get off the ground?  What is the management structure like? What size are departments or teams and do they work well together?

The benefits of speaking to people in your chosen line of work can extend to your actual job search. For many jobs there is no set entry route, and you will find people have come from a range of different backgrounds. You may get some ideas about approaches you could try, such as insider tips on where opportunities are advertised, or which agencies companies use to fill temporary vacancies. In the same way, you may discover other steps you can take to make you a more attractive candidate or whether any specific qualifications or experience are particularly sought after or valued.

If you don’t already know someone you can speak to, try asking friends, family members and existing contacts for suggestions, or as an alternative starting point, why not explore icould’s videos?  With over a thousand people sharing their personal career stories,  you can benefit from a wide range of insight and experience across many different industries and sectors.  Try searching  by job type, subject or life decision, or using the search wizard.