If you are hoping that everyone who works in the industry will welcome you and be willing to help, you may be disappointed. Instead of getting fabulous career advice or job leads, you may be left feeling discouraged about the career and thinking you should consider doing something else with your life.
If you’re thinking of entering a new career, you have probably heard that you should talk to people currently working in that career.
There are a number of ways to get the scoop from industry insiders about how to break into their career including: joining professional associations, attending networking events, going on information interviews, or asking for advice on Internet message boards.
However, if you are hoping that everyone who works in the industry will welcome you and be willing to help, you may be disappointed. Instead of getting fabulous career advice or job leads, you may be left feeling discouraged about the career and thinking you should consider doing something else with your life.
Think again. If you are left feeling less than excited about a career after speaking with someone working in it, you are probably talking to the wrong person. Here are some reasons an industry expert may not be helpful to newcomers:
They want to feel special Many successful people got where they are today because of their talent and effort. When asked how they did it, however, their story may sound like the one that parents used to tell about walking in the snow for miles every day to get to school and home again – uphill both ways. In other words, they make it sound much more difficult than it is. And while it’s possible it really was difficult for someone else, you might have what it takes to achieve success in your chosen career more quickly.
Few people will tell others that it’s easy to break into their career or that almost anyone with determination can do it, even if that’s true. By saying that it takes a rare ability or many years to succeed in a career, someone who is already working in that career validates themself and what they have achieved.
Keep this in mind when speaking with someone working in the career, and don’t say you hope to get a job like theirs right away. If you acknowledge their success and show respect for their achievements they may be more willing to assist you.