One Important Piece of Strategizing Your Next Move That Too Many Overlook

Right now I’m working with two senior executives strategizing their next move. And they’ve reminded me of the importance of informational interviewing.

Here’s why. Too often people aren’t thorough when they think about what’s next.

They limit themselves to what H.R. is proposing. Or to the jobs that are available on job boards.

And often those jobs aren’t a big enough reach or are not aligned with what they really want because they haven’t taken the time to figure that out.

The worst is when someone takes a job that looks impressive because they think it’s the right thing to do.

So within a short time, they lose interest in the job or find it’s not a fit. And that can really derail a career.

What I’m talking about with both of these clients are two key things: First, know what energizes you and what you’re good at.  And second, carve out time for a round of informational interviews.

Informational interviews are when you talk to people two to three levels above you, with a rough outline of a role (not “I’m open to anything!”).

When you enter a conversation with someone whose vision is broader than yours by virtue of their position and experience, and you can give them a sense of what you can do, together you can connect the dots.

One of the clients I’m working with is in an emerging and fast-changing discipline. She was finding that her peers don’t get what she does, so couldn’t help her. In fact, they may be invested in maintaining the status quo.  

She also told me she didn’t want to be a bother to people two levels above her. 

But as we talked, I pointed out that smart senior leaders love to help people — partly because it’s human nature, and partly because having well-positioned mentees is good for them too.

When I said that, she said, “Oh yeah. Come to think of it, so-and-so has said to me more than once, ‘Let’s talk about you. What are your plans.’ “

Lightbulb moment!

The other client shared that talking to people who have struggled with the issue of “what’s next” had really helped her think of things she wouldn’t have on her own.

There’s been so much job movement this past year. That means opportunity. So remember to take the time to get informed and not limit your options.

My best,

Tifin Dillon - Use Astrology for Your Leadership Style

Isabelle Steichen - Millennial Free Agent

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