Asking for career advice is not always easy, but it is definitely worthwhile. Having a bit of nerves is natural but don’t let those fears get in the way of getting essential support. Some professionals even worry that others will treat them differently if they share more about their ambitions and goals. If you’re worried about your boss thinking of you as a threat or your coworkers feeling like you are not a team player, you should set these concerns aside.
But you don’t need huge levels of confidence to reach out and ask for advice about your career. Instead, you need to recognize that there are plenty of people who are actually willing to help you succeed. And if you reach out to your mentors at University of Phoenix, they are likely to be flattered that you want their advice on something as important as your career.
You can plan your professional development with a little help when you pursue that help correctly. Keep in mind that who you ask for advice really matters. Here are the main people you should ask for career guidance and the types of questions to consider.
Employees Who Work in Your Chosen Field
If you know someone who works in the field you want to join, asking them for career advice can be a great first step. Learning how others got their own start can help you focus on what you need to do in order to enter the field. Sharing common ground, like attending the same university or interests, can help make it easier for you to talk to one another about the ins and outs of a particular career path or specific industry.
Members of Professional Associations
Professional associations are great places to meet people who can give relevant career advice. After all, these individuals have already become professionals in your career of interest. Their membership in an association shows that they are also open to career advancement and collaboration since they spend time networking, too. Many professional association members make good mentors and are happy to provide advice to up-and-coming individuals in their niche.
Contacts on LinkedIn
Don’t be afraid to reach out to people you’re connected with online. If you’re connected with a lot of other University of Phoenix students or alumni who have started out in careers within your chosen profession, reaching out to them can make a big difference. You can also ask them for career advice even if they aren’t in your specific field. They may still have general advice that could be helpful as you make your way toward the career you want.
If you already have a job and you are looking to move up, seeking career advice from the people you already work for can be an advantage. This can demonstrate that you are interested in turning the job you have into a long-term career. You can prepare for opportunities by getting better at what you already do on a daily basis or by focusing on training and learning so you can move to a different position in the company. Most employers welcome initiative among their staff and are happy to share ways you can improve or move up the ranks for the benefit of both you and the company.
Whether you attended University of Phoenix or a different school, your previous teachers are great resources for career advice. The chances are high that they have given advice to other students and welcome the opportunity to help. Many instructors will have a good idea of what works in the current job market and what might not be as effective for career advancement. Your teachers can also provide a wide range of advice, from details or direction with a specific career or help narrowing down the industry you want to focus on in the first place.
Know How You Should Ask
Not only is it important to find the right people to ask for advice, but it is also very important to know how to ask for help. When seeking career advice, consider these tips to ask questions that are targeted and professional for a better chance of getting answers that are helpful.
- Make sure to introduce (or reintroduce) yourself.
- Get to the point and be clear what your intention is.
- Ask nicely and professionally no matter how well you know the person.
- Pick a specific question and avoid being vague.
- Only ask one question at a time.
- Say thank you even if they don’t answer your question.
When you’re polite, succinct and courteous, others are more able to provide answers that offer direction and practical advice. This can be the difference between valuable career advice and information that is not practical for your situation. If you are struggling with where to start, feel free to ask which skills they find critical to success in your field. This can be a great conversation starter, and if they mention skills that you have yet to polish, you’ll know at least one area to start working on.
About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix focuses on opportunities for higher education so adult students can gain the skills and knowledge needed to further their professional goals. By providing students with what they need to succeed, these students can improve their communities and organizations both now and in the future. University of Phoenix offers quality, value, excellence and convenience in education to students all over the country.