Knowing what you know about your career field, and knowing what I would have to do to get into this field, do you think you would make the change if you were me? If not, can you suggest any other fields that might be more appropriate for me?
What They’re Really Asking
Simply put, is this worth it? Most often, this question is directed at someone in a mentorship position and not necessarily in an interview. The questioner is looking for insight. They know a change in career will take dedication and drive, but they want to understand if the growth potential matches the work that must be put in to succeed.
Points to Emphasize
Growth potential and character development are often the biggest opportunities presented with a change. Focus on how this change could help with not only this phase in life, but also future growth. Millennials, especially, are changing jobs quickly and always searching for ways to build valuable skills. Many traits learned on the job can easily transfer to a variety of industries. Make sure the person you are mentoring understands the characteristics that a job switch can hone for both the “right now” and the future.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
Since this question is most likely being asked outside of a formal interview setting, do not fall into the trap of answering with a specific job in mind. Instead, focus on the industry as a whole.
· Don’t focus on the negatives.
· Don’t lie or downplay.
· Don’t try to force the questioner to stay in their current placement.
As qualified workers move through the invisible walls of industry, they need to know that education and support exist. There are always opportunities, make sure that you take your job as a mentor seriously and give unbiased information backed by current facts and figures.
As with any question asked of a mentor, you most likely have some background on the person you are working with. This means that you understand their goals for the future. Take that knowledge into account to make sure you answer truthfully, and in a way that is tailored to the success of the specific questioner.
A sample answer could be phrased similar to:
I believe there are so many opportunities for growth when you go outside of your area of expertise. You will learn a lot, but there will be sacrifices that occur. In the end, however, I believe you will be a much more valuable employee for all employers if you are willing to put in the work required to make the shift.