One of the top things employers seek in job candidates these days is curiosity. Curiosity is also one of the best tools for a successful career path.
When you become curious about the following things, you’ll see a shift in the outlook of your career.
Let your curiosity run wild on these 3 things
1. Topics you find interesting
If there’s a particular industry-related topic you’re curious about, learn as much as you can about it. Read about it, attend conferences or panels on similar topics, and talk to others.
In my previous post, I showed you ways to manage your energy during your job search. One of those ways was to attend learning and educational events specific to your industry or area of interest, instead of wasting time with traditional networking events.
When doing so, you’ll gather some great nuggets of knowledge and useful take-aways. In addition, you’ll meet like-minded connections, which can lead to future opportunities.
For example, I once attended a panel on a topic I was interested in, hosted by the Nashville Entrepreneur Center. There, I met the president of the company sponsoring the panel. While talking to him, I learned he was seeking an outplacement counselor with career coaching experience. A month later, I had a contract position with his company!
2. Other people’s career paths
You can learn so many insights about your own career direction when you show an interest in others’ career paths. Talking to others, and asking them about their jobs and how they got to where they are, opens your mind to opportunities or approaches you’ve never previously considered.
Even if the other person’s path isn’t remotely close to what you’d like to do next in your own career, you’ll still walk away with some fresh ideas for yourself, ones you wouldn’t have gained if you hadn’t taken the time to listen.
This is why I emphasize the importance of informational interviewing as a successful strategy. You can learn more about informational interviewing, and how it can help you be successful in your own networking efforts, in my on-demand video course, The Secret to Successful Networking.
I’ve personally used informational interviewing strategies ever since I was in college. It’s how I ended up in my graduate school of choice, landed jobs on college campuses as a career adviser, and started my own business!
3. New things
Getting curious about new things is another great way to gather insights and better your career. And guess what? Those things don’t just have to be career-related. They can be totally unrelated to a career goal. This can include potential hobbies, off-the-wall or very niche personal interests, and more.
But don’t just stop at showing curiosity. Take action by trying something new! Being active in new adventures helps you think much better than just sitting around contemplating them. In addition, you increase your confidence with each action you take, giving you the courage to try more things, both in life and in your career.
For example, when I was feeling stuck in my own career, I dealt with it by getting out and trying all kinds of activities, like stand-up paddle boarding, archery, and rock climbing. At first I thought I was just trying to escape my feelings of limbo. And this was partly true. But the result of trying new things was a clearer mind and a boost in self-esteem. With this cleared mind and confidence boost, I was able to make some decisions that revived and improved my career.
For encouragement, I recommend the book, I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was, by Barbara Sher.
Curiosity healed the career
While curiosity killed the cat, it certainly won’t kill your career. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. It will revive it, and make you more attractive to potential employers.