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EP 1060 If you are interested in changing careers, this next step is a “can’t miss” video.

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I started off doing a series of videos about changing careers and, along the way, I got distracted and did another series of videos. I want to return to this subject in this video. Let's talk about the next step in your process.

It's really a very important one that too few people follow through on. You can read as much as you want, you can talk to as many people as you like, you can take as many people's brains as you want and engage in lots of different testing that will help you determine appropriate career fields for you. But! There is nothing like spending some time with someone who is in the profession.

I want you to hear that again. There is nothing like spending time with someone who is in the profession.

In doing so, I would like you to do it in multiple parts. The 1st one is the equivalent of an informational interview in job search. You talk with them about the business of what they do and what their typical day is like, the things they wrestle with, the things they love about it and the things they dislike about it… That's really meeting number 1. At the end of it, you might just simply asked them, "Would you mind if I shadowed you for part of a day or volunteered in your office with an eye toward helping? This way, I can observe and notice what goes on."

You see, there is a fantasy that a lot of people develop about what it's like to be (fill in the blank). For example, you work in construction, but what you really want to be is a programmer. Find a way that you can work with a programmer and shadow them to see what their typical day is like. That's because you want to know what the downs are like to see if you can tolerate them. If you can't, maybe this isn't the right calling for you.

Think in terms of following through on something that allows you to learn more about the profession, not book learning it (book learning is fine up to a point, but it doesn't let you experience what it is like to be that person. Get out there and talk to someone in the profession that you are interested in.

I know what I was considering my move into coaching. I spoke to a number of people who worked in the field, got some ideas and spend some time following around with 1 or 2 of them to see what a typical day was like. I asked them questions about how they got clients which is a big part of being a coach. After all, you're not a coach unless you are coaching and thus the way you become a coach is by having clients!

So I followed around with someone, spent time with them in their office as they would speak to potential clients and coach some folks and took some notes down… I didn't hear anything horrible. What I heard was someone who really loves what they were doing and I hope you have that experience as well.

Get out there. Shadow someone. Do an informational interview before hand/ask permission. If you're exploring the field were being a shadow isn't the right thing to do, you can try volunteering. Volunteer in the workplace for the type of work that you want to do.

If you want to be a nutritionist, volunteer in a nutritionist's office. Volunteer in a public agency that does nutrition services for people. Do things that allow you to see what it is like in the field that you want to be involved with.


JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter
JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1600 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.” He is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council. “No BS JobSearch Advice Radio” was recently named a Top 10 podcast for job search. was also recently named a Top 10 YouTube channel for job search.

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