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Career Connector Meeting Guidance

two women smiling and shaking hands with coffee cups on table

Are you planning a meetup with someone who can help you understand a role or share their career insights with you? Use these tips before, during and after your meetup!

View or download the tips listed below in a PDF format.

Career Connector Meetup Tips

Before the meeting

  • Research: Look at your Connector’s LinkedIn and Stanford profiles, read their articles or familiarize yourself with any publications if applicable; send your Connector your own profile so they can preview before meeting
  • Display professionalism: Dress appropriately or arrange for a quiet place to take the call, bring a notebook and pen, etc.
  • Select and print your questions: Highlight five that you will definitely ask, any others are backup if there’s time.
  • Respect your Connector’s time: Identify a way to stay on track (watch, phone timer, etc.)

Questions you can ask your Connector

  • How did you get into this field? (Listen for key turning points, choices, and aptitude)
  • What was your career path/progression? Was it a typical path to your role? If not, why not or what was unusual? (Listen for key requirements, and departures from a typical path if it doesn’t match your likely path)
  • Could you describe a typical day or week? (Listen for a match with your preconceptions about the role.)
  • What makes a ___________ (job title) successful? (Listen for intangibles like grit, attention to detail, strategic thinking, etc.)
  • What have you found to be most unexpected about your experience in your current role or along the way?
  • What were the most important learning experiences or developmental opportunities for you that really helped advance your career progression that you think I might consider for myself?
  • What accomplishments are valued and rewarded and valued in this field? (Are these things you enjoy?)
  • What excites you about what you do?
  • What are the most challenging aspects of what you do? (This will fill in the picture of this role.)
  • What kinds of decisions do you make? What kinds of problems do you solve? (Are these things that you would want to deal with?)
  • Could you describe the typical work/life balance for people in this field?
  • Where do you see this field going in the next 5-10 years? (Does this direction excite you?)
  • Who else would be good to talk to? (Tap into your Connector’s network, either for someone else at a different level in this field or someone in a field that matches your interests more closely.)
  • Where can I find more information? (Websites, classes, books, articles, journals, professional associations, etc.)

Questions your Connector may ask you

  • Why are you interested in this field? (Check for possible misconceptions)
  • Where would you like to take your career? (Listen for what matters to them: ambition, use more of a skill/aptitude, etc.)
  • What do you like to do? (Listen for skills and activities that match what you do or match a different field better)
  • What do you think you’re not so good at? (Listen for dislikes that might conflict with key priorities in your field like working with your hands vs analyzing data or working alone vs working in teams)
  • Who have you already discussed your goals or careers ideas with and what resulted from those conversations?
  • How are your committing to development for yourself and keeping track of progress – what does that look like?

After the meeting

  • Review your notes, add anything you missed
  • What did you like about the field/role? What did you not like? What are your concerns?
  • Does this still sound like something you’re interested in?
  • What is your plan for taking action on your Connector’s recommendations? Next steps?
  • Write a thank you note to your Connector for their time