Questions To Ask Industry Professionals You Admire

They say that you can tell whether a man is clever by his answers, but you can tell whether he is wise by his questions. Seeking the wisdom of an industry mentor, leader or long-time professional is extremely advantageous when structuring your own career goals. Not only will you learn about the individual's specific job, but you will also have the opportunity to gain a unique insight into the industry as a whole.

Networking is also a great way to increase your visibility within the industry. Identifying leaders you respect and admire will help you to approach your career productively and learning how these individuals have found themselves where they are in their field and whether you would enjoy their work will also help you to establish whether you can see yourself in a similar position, no matter at which point you find yourself in your career.

So, what sort of questions should you be asking?

When contemplating questions you might like to ask someone about their job, you should also have an idea why you're asking these questions and what sort of insight you are hoping to gain from the answers. Consider the benefits asking these questions will have:

1. Where do you see the industry going in the future?

Industry professionals have the benefit of years' worth of experience in their industry. They might have a keen sense of what changes you can expect to see in your field and how you might best prepare yourself to meet them.

2. What would you do differently if you could go back in time?

If you're hoping to embark on a similar career path as the person you're asking, their answer to this question could offer you concrete guidance as to how you can approach future career obstacles. Consider their answer and how you could apply it to your five or 10 year career plan.

3. What are your daily habits?

Successful people are often excellent managers of their time and abide by a series of productive daily habits. These can include exercise, reflection, healthy eating and professional development. See what daily habits your mentor maintains and consider what value they might bring to your life.

4. What professional associations are you a member of?

Professional associations and memberships are a great way to network and gain insight into your industry. Consider joining the associations your advisor recommends to help boost your visibility in the field and grow your professional network.

5. What should I be doing to improve my career prospects?

It's more than likely that the person you're interviewing takes part in reviewing resumes or assisting in some other stage of the hiring process. Ask what they look for on a resume or during an interview to help you remain competitive as your career develops.


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