On August 27, I posted a blog entitled “7 Questions for Highly Effective Career Advice.” In posting this piece, my goal was to arm readers and would be advice-seekers with just the right information to include in their requests for help, information, and advice so that I could answer those inquiries as completely and thoroughly as possible without having to conduct much back-and-forth posting or email to get everything out in the open.
So far, I’m batting about 0.500 as far as inquiries received since that posting goes. In other words, about half the people apparently either already know they should include this kind of information or have read this posting, and the other half don’t. To the “half in the know,” my profound thanks for making my job so much easier. To the “other half:” please ponder these questions when you submit your requests for advice to me (I repeat them here to minimize the effort people must expend to accommodate my wishes, in hope this will help see them satisfied):
1. What is your educational background? High school diploma? Associate’s degree? Bachelor’s degree? Graduate degree(s)? Please also briefly describe any incomplete progress on any of these items (for example “two years of computer science grad courses, 2/3 of MS completed”).
2. What is your prior work experience? How many years of work, and what kind of work have you done? Any volunteer work? Part-time work in school or elsewhere? (You’d be surprised how much value employers give to those who show evidence of being able to hold a job, and how much credit they give to people willing to work for nothing as volunteers or part-time to get experience in their chosen fields.)
3. Where do you live? What is the job market like there? How much opportunity for entry-level people? mid-career people? senior people?
4. Are you interested in working in management, or would you prefer to stay on a technical track? Have you ever done any project management (and again, school, part-time, and volunteer experience all help)?
5. What kinds of certifications interest you? Please describe any certification held, currency status (if applicable), and when earned.
6. Do your long-term career goals include staying in your current position (or in the same field as the next position you’re seeking, if applicable)?
7. What kind of job are you doing now? What kind of job would you like to be doing? How important is salary to you? How important is job satisfaction? If you could have any job at all, what would that be?
Thanks for your understanding and support. I look forward to serving you, and answering your questions, as they come up. Feel free to post them here in this blog, in the IT Knowledge Exchange, or email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great weekend!