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Managing Expectations

What can you realistically get out of this

➔ If your job search is on target, one thing that you can be certain of is that you’re going to participate in a lot of meetings. Informational and formal job interviews. Networking. Casual or informal conversations with colleagues, friends, vendors, etc.

Understanding the differences among all those meetings and realizing what the potential outcomes are will not only advance your job search, it will help you minimize your frustration and save your sanity.

Other than just a job

To ensure your success, you need to approach these encounters with some idea or goal of what you expect to get out of it. (Aside from the obvious: a job.) This is not something to be taken for granted. It’s all part of being prepared. If you know what you want out of any such meeting, you’ll make your time worthwhile; you’ll steer the conversation in the direction you want; you’ll successfully probe for the information you need; and you’ll be able to abort a meeting that is clearly not promising; etc.

The job interview is the most straightforward and obvious. But what about an informational interview when you know that there is no job available? What about networking events? Are all networking events the same in terms of your expectations? Maybe. Maybe not.

The basic question is: What are you hoping to get out of the meeting? What can you realistically expect to come away with? Contacts? Leads on possible job openings? An inside person at a particular organization? It could be anything. It’s probably going to vary from one event to another.

Will you be ready? And will you recognize it when it surfaces?


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