Disability Mentoring Day (DMD) is an opportunity to learn more about your career of interest while building your personal network of contacts that may assist you with your career development by providing you with invaluable advice. During DMD, consider using the following tips in order to make the most of what DMD has to offer.
1. Prepare an “elevator introduction” or a two-minute commercial that you might use when you are introducing yourself to some of the staff at your mentoring site. To create your own commercial, think about the answers to the following:
- I am ________
- My short/long term educational goals are ____________
- My career goals are ____________
- My strengths include ____________
- My accomplishments include _____________
- My work experience involves ___________
2. Consider conducting either a formal or informal informational interview, which will allow you to ask your mentor some questions related to his/her career. Once you have answers to your questions, you can determine for yourself if this career appeals to you, and whether you would like to pursue a job in the field. (You do not have to ask every question on the list, or ask them in order. Pick out a few questions you like or think of a few questions of your own.)
Sample questions include:
Career Environment: Deciding if this field is right for me
- Describe to me what you do.
- Describe a typical workday for me.
- What are typical earnings at various stages of a career in your field? (Do NOT ask, “How much money do you make?”)
- What are the things you find most rewarding about your work?
- What are your toughest challenges at work?
- If you could somehow change your job, what would you change and why?
- Does your job affect your personal life? If so, how?
- What are the most desirable personality characteristics for a person to possess within your field?
Career Preparation: How to get a job in the field
- What educational degrees, licenses, or other credentials are required for your type of work?
- Is there any type of education or training that is preferred or helpful, but not required?
- What are the trade/professional associations to which you belong?
- What abilities and interests are most important for effectiveness and satisfaction in your field?
- How do people usually learn about job openings in your field?
- What types of employers, other than yours, hire people to perform the kind of work you do?
- If you were hiring someone today for an entry-level position in your field, what would be the most critical factors influencing your choice of one candidate over another?
Other: Anything else I should know
- Is there anything else you think I would benefit from knowing about the field you are in?
- Is there any other advice you could offer me?