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Did You Know? The most dependable and up to date information on jobs and careers is not found in books or on the Internet, it's found by going out and talking to people, says Richard Bolles, international career expert and author.

Informational Interviews

One of the best career tools you can use to gather information and learn from others is to prepare and conduct effective informational interviews. An informational interview is not a job interview. It is a short, 10- to 20-minute interview with a person who has a job or is in an industry that interests you. In the process of planning, setting up and conducting an informational interview you will gain insight into particular professions and the workplace at large.

This is what students have to say about informational interviews:

  • "My interviewees taught me things that no textbook could ever teach. There is no replacement for real-world experience. By listening to their stories of success and failure, I learned key tips for how to get the ideal job for me and how to succeed in the future. I have lived their experiences through their stories."
  • "Informational interviewing was a wonderful experience. I was able to prove to myself that I could relate more with American people. Outside my country for the first time, I can say that I have truly started to create my own network of positive people."
A Foot in the Door Katherine Hansen

Job Shadowing

Paris and Mason (1995) define job shadowing as:

"Job shadowing is a work experience option where students learn about a job by walking through the work day as a shadow to a competent worker. The job shadowing work experience is a temporary, unpaid exposure to the workplace in an occupational area of interest to the student. Students witness firsthand the work environment, employability and occupational skills in practice, the value of professional training and potential career options. Job shadowing is designed to increase career awareness, help model student behavior through examples and reinforce in the student the link between classroom learning and work requirements. Almost any workplace is a potential job shadowing site.

Job shadowing is limited in that it allows students to observe only; direct work experience, responsibility and skills are not acquired. While integration of school and work is implied, there is little if any curriculum alignment between the school and occupational area." (p. 47)
Go here for information on how to set up a job shadowing experience

Internships: Your Ticket to A Good Job

The National Association of Colleges and Employers, reports that 53% of their college hires had some kind of internship under their belt. Christopher Pratt, Massachusetts Institute of Technology's director of career services, believes that internships are at least as important as your grades.

Use these links to search for general or specific career information

California State-Wide Salaries

Kern County Fastest Growing Jobs

Projections of Employment by Occupation

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