When I graduated from college I had 3 offers from different finance-related companies. I was a star student all throughout college. Active in my business school, social life and career-wise. Everyone expected me to do great things and make huge accomplishments in my life.
It was great that everyone thought that about me, but I had no idea what I wanted to do.
There was a moment in my life where I had an offer with a prestigious Wealth Management company. It made sense to take it. I had a Finance background, Wealth Management experience, and the mental fortitude to make it.
The guy who offered me the job wanted me to work for him so bad he gave me 3 months to think about the offer. 3 months. (The longest time I had to think about an offer was 1 week) I took my 3 months and consulted my friends and family about what to do, but what really made me make my decision was what my friend told me.
“If you really want to do something in life you will do everything in your power to do it. If you don’t, you’ll make every excuse not to”
In the 3 months that I thought about the offer, I made every single excuse to not take it.
“What if there’s a better offer”
“What if I suck at it”
“What will my friends say?”
I made every excuse to not take the offer because I was hoping that some miracle would happen and I would get another job from another company that I actually liked.
The truth is, miracles like that don’t exist unless you are putting in the work, but somehow the universe heard me and granted me one of my wishes.
I was talking to my friend one evening and I expressed to her how I was okay without a full-time job right now and wanted an internship to build up some cash, explore more fields and get more working experience.
Two weeks later a recruiter from a temp agency messaged me about a 3-month contract position as an Analyst. It was exactly what I put into The Universe. It paid well and was going to give me experience and it was literally 4 miles from my house.
Now that I look back at it, the universe only granted me that wish because it was a stepping stone to my real career.
I didn’t actually spend 3 months at that position, I spent 9 months. And during that entire time, I spent every evening doing the 3 following things to get my dream job that I will now start in April.
Upgrade your skills
One of the biggest things that helped me get my new job was being able to show that I had the background knowledge required to be successful.
My background was in Finance and I was trying to work at a REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust). I was trying to pivot into a completely different field and I had to prove my interest, so I enrolled in a Certificate program at Cornell University.
It was probably the best thing I ever did for myself because every time I talked to someone I was conducting an Informational Interview with (more on that next) or in an Interview, they were extremely impressed. It showed that I was dedicated to shifting fields and I was actually interested in learning about it.
One of friends pivoted last year from Finance to Film. She threw away an 80k offer from Deloitte to explore a field that would pay max 30k with no benefits.
Her parents couldn’t believe it and neither could she. But in essence, it burned all her bridges. She had no choice but to chase her dreams.
Now she does side gigs for Spotify and 90 Day Fiancé for fun (and she has a full-time job)
She owes all her success to Informational Interviews. Over the course of 6 months, she conducted 50 Informational Interviews with people ranging from Executive Directors at Netflix to small-time film business owners.
She learned so much about her Industry just by speaking to people in it. Through that, she was able to make her way to get a referral to a great company where she now has a full-time job and benefits.
Informational Interviews allow you to make connections with people in the field that you want to work in. It is an easy way to network because they are somewhat structured. A great way to find people to conduct Informational Interviews with is through LinkedIn. Search up a company or a position that you are interested in and shoot them a message.
My name is Jane Doe and I am a current Analyst at XYZ Bank. I recently saw your post on LinkedIn about some of the great things your company is doing and was impressed by your background. I was wondering if you had some time to speak about your role at ABC Company.
You will be surprised at how many responses you will get if you present yourself as a curious and interested individual.
You can set up a phone call or zoom call since they are becoming more common recently. Or if you are nearby, you can ask them to meet up for coffee. Be sure to have questions about the company, role and the person ready beforehand.
One of my own best success stories with Informational Interviews was with an extremely successful Real Estate Broker. He ended up offering me a Real Estate Scholarship and now I am currently getting my license so I can work with him part-time.
Send Thank You Notes
Have you ever received a thank you letter in the mail? I did an informational interview with an extremely successful Real Estate Developer a while ago. It was a pleasant conversation and I forgot about it almost a week later.
If he didn’t send me a thank you note to my home address (which he found on my resume), I probably would have forgotten about him!
Sending a thank-you note is not only a nice, pleasurable thing to receive, but it is a slam dunk in your interviewers’ mind because they will DEFINITELY remember you!
An example of a simple thank you note is as follows
Good Evening Jane,
Just wanted to take a minute to Thank you for taking the time to speak to me last Tuesday. It was a pleasure speaking to you about my interest and qualifications for the ____ position!
I enjoyed hearing about your work on your ____ project and am eager to see what you work on next.
After our conversation today and given my passion and interest in ____, I believe that I will be a great candidate for this position and will help further ____ vision.
Please feel free to contact me if you need anything from my end. Thank you so much for considering me for this opportunity.
Whether it is after an Informational Interview or a real Interview. You must send a Thank you note.
Miss Mani is an aspiring Real Estate Developer. She loves coffee, reading and practicing spirituality and good conversations. She loves to write anything about Careers, Working, Manifestation and Spirituality. Feel free to check out her articles for interview tips she’d learnt and other ideas on Medium.
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