Career Management


Phase 1, Step 2 - Gather Feedback from Others

Your closest friends and family know you sometimes better than you know yourself. Their feedback is invaluable and they may recognize strengths you did not even know you possessed. Be sure and talk to as many individuals as possible to gain a variety of perspectives and ideas. It is especially important to talk with people who have had successful careers. Find out about the choices they made early in their career and what they think is their formula for success. Everyone defines success differently; make sure that you look for people whose values you share. With those that you know well, ask about your self-assessment and see if it seems accurate to them. Everyone has blind spots. While you think you may know yourself well, it is important to periodically look in the mirror and see yourself as others see you. Often, your friends and family see strengths that you may not know you have. Other times, they can help you identify stretch goals and areas for professional development. Looking in the mirror is critical to identifying a good cultural fit in an organization and finding a job/career that will keep you fully engaged at work. This step will be completed when you can clearly articulate what success is to you and have incorporated your family and friends views into your self-evaluation.

Deliverable for GSM5108: Reach out to three people who you know that have had successful careers and schedule time to meet with them. These people could be a former boss, co-worker, family member or friend. Choose 2 or more questions to ask from each category on the informational questions list.  The goal is to learn from their experience.  Create a “Networking Contacts” excel spreadsheet and add these three people’s contact information to it.  Take notes from these conversations to incorporate into your self-analysis in your final Career Action Plan (CAP).

Direction for Gathering Information from Others:
The goal of the assignment is to learn from the people you know who you see as successful. There are three categories of questions to ask them. Please ask at least 2 from each category. Feel free to add your own questions. The meetings should be about 30 minutes and casual. Make notes from your conversation as you will want to refer back to these at a later date.

1.  Questions about their company, industry and job
•    How did your company get started?
•    What industry are you in and what is happening in your industry?
•    How would you describe the culture of this organization?
•    What kinds of people work here? What are their job titles and skills or education?
•    Who do you consider to be your primary competitors?
•    What is the primary purpose of your organization/mission statement or what products or services do you provide?
•    Do you think there will be growth and hiring in your industry over the next few years?

2.  Questions about the person you’re interviewing:
•    How/when did you begin working for this company?
•    What has your career been like?
•    What are you responsible for?
•    What’s your biggest accomplishment thus far?
•    What are your biggest challenges in an organization like this (or field /job like this)?
•    What do you like/not like about what you do?
•    What was your first position out of school and how did you manage your first promotion?
•    What professional organizations do you belong to?
•    If you could start your career over, what would you do differently?

3. Questions about me:
•    Based on my experience and background in what types of positions do you think I would be good?
•    What are some important things you think I should learn?
•    What advice do you have for me?
•    What do you see as my strengths, talents or skills that might be important?
•    If I were interested in your career or industry, what qualities do you think I should develop?
•    What experiences should I seek while in school?