There’s only so much insight you can get from printed material about careers. The best insight you can get on a career is from someone in the career. You should try to interview or even shadow someone who has the career you are considering.
Attachment A contains some questions you might ask in the interview. When you do the interview make the questions flow from one to another. Ask follow up questions to get more insight into each of the specific questions. When you get into specific examples, try to get more information on these so you can visualize yourself in these situations.
You should also see if it is possible to shadow your role model for a day. If this is possible, you should be prepared for the experience. Here are some considerations in preparing your shadow day:
- What should you wear?
- When should you arrive?
- What will you be doing?
- Is there anything you should bring with you?
During your job shadow experience, take lots of notes so you can do a proper reflection on the experience afterward. Once you have had time to think about your job shadow experience, write down answers to the following reflections:
- What did you like most about what you observed?
- If you were doing the job of your role model, what would you like the lest about the job?
- Can you see yourself doing this job over a career spanning more than 30 years?
One final note. No career is 100% satisfying. Every job has its down moments. You have to think of whether the career you observed will give you enough satisfaction to sustain your interests.