How to Ask People About Their Jobs

Is there a job out there you think you would absolutely love? It can be hard to know exactly what a job is like unless you can get hands-on experience. Maybe you can’t find anything suitable near you, or maybe you’d just like some assurance before jumping into a work experience placement. But you can do the next best thing – ask other people about their jobs!

Why should I ask other people about their jobs?

 Getting advice on a career you’re interested in is always a smart move. You can find out a lot you might not know, like pathways into the career, the ups and the downs, daily tasks, industry insights, and a whole lot more.

Then, you can use this valuable info to help steer you in the right direction. Think about what you learned and weigh up your options – is this still something you’d want to do, or has your perspective changed? It can also help you think about things you can do right now to get closer to your goal.

It’s always helpful to get more than one perspective too (if possible). Talk to as many people as you can.

What should I ask?

 Here are some questions that you might like to ask to get the most out of the experience:

  • What does a normal day look like?
  • What’s your favourite (and least favourite) part of your job?
  • How did you get this job?
  • Is this what you wanted to do when you were younger?
  • Do you have any advice for someone looking to get into the industry?

It’s important to consider how well you know the person you’re asking, and remember there are some things that could be inappropriate to ask (for example, asking how much money someone makes).

Some final tips

 Take notes – you don’t want to go to all this trouble only to forget everything a few days later.

Ask follow-up questions – if there is something you don’t quite understand, it’s better to ask for clarification than to be left unsure. This is also a great way to show you’ve been actively listening.

Keep in touch – send the person a letter or email thanking them for their time and effort. This could be your chance to make a valuable connection for the future.

If you feel like you’re ready to jump in and get some experience, you can search for work experience positions on our website here.

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