Sometimes you want an interview at your dream job. Get your foot in the door! But what if they’re not hiring at the moment, or you don’t yet have the appropriate credentials?
Informational interviews. They are awesome.
I truly wish I had gone on more of these in college or high school. The career fair at my high school was a great experience, even if I didn’t end up going into broadcast journalism as I had thought I would (woops, I am still writing, though, aren’t I?).
During my first career jump, going from media producing and back into a music studio, I wanted to get some more professional advice. I contacted the ladies at the studio I’d interned at, and went in to speak to an executive producer in the post house, along with a fellow alum who was producing there. It was fantastic. They couldn’t have been more nice and informative. They gave me advice and leads, and it helped my confidence a whole lot. Not only that, I circled back to them later and this helped me get an interview at a creative studio, and another interview for a feature film.
Since then, I have reached out to countless professionals who are working on projects I admire in writing, music, film, and the list goes on! Sometimes I’ll see an article in a magazine I can relate to, and follow up with the author. Sometimes I’ll want to know something specific about a creative work, and reach out to the artist to ask them about it. Sure, sometimes you get rejected from getting more info, but I have found the community to be very receptive. I’m amazed at the amount of creative pros who have taken the time to have a lunchtime chat with me about career trajectory.
Even if in your own office…don’t be afraid to ask a colleague for input on how your work is going, and what opportunities lay ahead of you. I’ve had supervisors come to me to ask me about whether I’d like to learn more about something in the workplace. Your peers will probably admire the fact that you’re interested in learning more about your work. Just remember to be up front and honest…you don’t want to step on anyone’s toes!
I’m equally as enthusiastic about informational interviews as I am about mentoring. Why not combine the two?
I’ve added a new page to this site: Question & Artist.
Are you a student or recent graduate who wants to learn more about your field? Maybe you want to learn more about a specific line of work to see if it is right for you, or you have a creative interest but aren’t sure what sort of jobs line up with it?
Leave your questions and which field you’re interested in on the Ask a Creative Professional page and I’ll reach into my friendly network and find your answers!
Eating lunch or drinking coffee during these Q&A sessions is optional!