9 questions to ask during an informational interview (and 1 to avoid)

Posted by Amanda Augustine

September 30, 2014 @ 08:30 AM

Arrive at your next informational interview prepared to gain valuable insights for your next career move.


It’s nearly impossible to discuss job-search tactics without mentioning the value of networking. Smart job seekers not only invest in developing their professional networks; they also tap into these connections for introductions, job leads and other valuable insights. However, one networking technique is often overlooked by even the savviest of job seekers: informational interviewing. [TWEET]

The concept of the informational interview (also known as an informational conversation) was first introduced by Richard N. Bolles, author of the popular job-search book, What Color is Your Parachute? Bolles believes that job seekers should speak with professionals in their field of interest to gather more information before choosing a particular career path.

I couldn’t agree more.

Whether you’re new to the workforce or you’re considering changing careers, informational interviews are a great way explore various career options and clarify your job goals.  Furthermore, they can be an effective way to gather insight into a particular company when you’re preparing for an interview.

Below are nine questions you can ask during your next informational interview – and one to avoid – to make the most of this valuable opportunity.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Networking, Job Goals, New to the Workforce, Career Transition

Job seekers: How to pitch your skills to make a career change

Posted by Amanda Augustine

October 22, 2013 @ 07:00 AM

Find new career opportunities by searching outside your current field.

career_transitionWhen it comes to the job search, not all fields are created equally. In a recent study, TheLadders found that, depending on the city, one job seeker’s desert can be another’s oasis. For example, healthcare workers in Boston currently enjoy a favorable job market, whereas those in real estate in the same city are more likely to struggle during the job hunt.

For those in the desert, a career transition may be in order so your skills can be put to use in a more favorable field. While many people have considered or even yearned to change fields, this is easier said than done.

Follow these three steps when making a career change.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Networking, Career Transition

How to discover a new career path

Posted by Amanda Augustine

October 08, 2013 @ 07:30 AM

Become an explorer to reevaluate your job goals and create a new career map.


A while back when I was asked to provide advice to recent college graduates, I recommended that they become explorers in the workforce.  However, exploration shouldn’t be restricted to the entry-level professional. In fact, I think it’s healthy to reevaluate your career goals every few years. What you desired in your twenties may not hold true a decade or two later.

With Columbus Day just around the corner, there’s no better time to talk about career exploration. Maybe you will also start down one path just to land on another far greater career, finding your own “America.”

Here are five ways to help you explore new career paths and identify your dream job. 

Topics: Ask Amanda, Job Goals, New to the Workforce, Career Transition

How to find a career you love

Posted by Amanda Augustine

April 29, 2013 @ 02:00 AM

My interview with Successfully Unemployed’s Alan Sherwood about career transitions.


Recently I had the pleasure of chatting with Alan G. Sherwood, MBA, host of the radio talk show, Successfully Unemployed, on Toginet radio.

In addition to his radio show, Alan owns and operates two small successful businesses: a consulting firm that specializes in capital and endowment campaigns, planned giving programs, executive search and career coaching; and a real estate investing and property management firm. He is the author of the book, “Successfully Unemployed,” that teaches the suddenly unemployed how to turn what appears to be a tragedy into a personal and professional triumph.

During the radio show we covered a wide range of topics, from job goals to career transition to turning your passion into a profitable business. Click on the following link to download the podcast. Below are some of the questions I fielded and links to more information on the topics. Enjoy!

Topics: Ask Amanda, Job Goals, Career Transition

7 tips for starting a second career

Posted by Amanda Augustine

September 19, 2012 @ 12:09 AM

What you need to know about pursuing an encore career later in life. 

Encore_CareerQ: I am 65 and nowhere near ready to retire (physically and emotionally) but I need to find more meaningful work than I'm doing now. What's the best way to overcome the age issue when approaching potential employers? – J.F. of Annapolis, MD

A: I can’t tell you how many people I’ve spoken to recently who are looking for new opportunities later in life!

Do me a favor and Google the following term today: “encore career

An “encore career,” also called “recareering,” is defined as an employment transition made during the latter part of one’s career, typically to the social sector or a public-interest field, such as education, the environment, health care, government, social services or nonprofits.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Job Search, Career Transition

5 tips on making a career transition

Posted by Amanda Augustine

August 14, 2012 @ 11:55 PM

Five tips to help you successfully switch careers.

Career_Transition_ChangeQ: I am looking to break into other industries, such as healthcare administration or medical sales. I know I have a transferable set of skills that an employer would value but I am not getting the calls I hope for. Any advice? - Matt E., Tucson, AZ

A: I know it can be incredibly frustrating when you send out application after application and don’t hear back anyone. You are definitely not alone! Let’s be honest – searching for a job, especially in this economy, is not fun. Have you ever heard anyone say “I love job seeking!”

No? I didn’t think so. Looking for a job – and a really good job that you actually want – takes time. A LOT of time. It takes patience. And a whole lotta work.

Trying to switch industries or change careers is even more challenging because you will rarely meet all the must-have requirements in the job description. But there are some things you can do (and prepare for) that will help set you up for success.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Job Search, Career Transition