In a recent post on Chronicle Vitae, I talk about reframing how we think about informational interviews. Rather than as a transactional form of networking, what if we thought about them as a series of prototype conversations (an idea I borrow from the excellent book Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life) that let us iteratively imagine our way to the right post-PhD career?
After a series of these life-design conversations, Evans and Burnett argue, you will eventually have prototyped your way to a career (and a life) that feels right to you. You'll sit down with someone, and find that imagining doing what they do — living how they live — feels … right. You'll have landed on the career path you want to pursue in earnest.
Even better, all of this life-design interviewing will have given you what you need to make that life real:
1. The skills to build a network and enter the hidden job market.
2. Information about how people moved into the field that you can use to craft your own entrance.
3. And an understanding of how the industry works that you can deploy when applying and interviewing for jobs