It’s a very simple question that people don’t use enough to make connections…Can we grab a coffee?
In the world we live in today, connections are key to exploring different paths when it comes to a job. I can truly say the only reason I got to where I am today is because of the relationships I made through connections. Looking back at it all, I have only gone in for one formal interview for a job, the rest have been over coffee…
The way it starts is simple – find people who you think have a kick-ass job. Once you have that narrowed down, reach out. If it’s someone you know, this can be as casual as “Hey Sarah, I hope all is well. I’ve seen some of what you do I would love to grab a coffee and hear more about it..?” Obviously, if you don’t know them, this should be a bit more formal. Explain to them who you are, what you do and that you would like to sit whenever it is most convenient for them. Regardless if you know the person or not, 10 out of 10 times people will say yes. Reality is, people love talking about themselves and are normally quite flattered that someone wants to hear about it.
Once you score the date, then you need to prepare -
Stalk them - Know everything about them. Pretend they are your ex’s new girlfriend – know their life down to a science but make sure they don't find out because thats creepy.
Come with questions - From your detective work come up with questions. You want to limit those silent awkward moments to 1 or 2.
Prepare your answers - Unless this person is a narcissist, they will want to learn a bit about you too. Prepare solid answers to questions like – what do you do now? what do you want to do in the future? And the most famous (also known as the worst question to ask someone) – tell me about yourself?
On th day of the coffee date -
BE ON TIME: Get there 15 minutes early - believe me, I couldn’t tell you how many times I have gotten coffee with someone who reached out to me and they were 20-30 minutes late. Especially if this is someone older that you are trying to impress, get there early and wait for them to arrive. You don’t want to start on a bad foot. The old, “the subway took forever” excuse doesn’t hold up.
24 hours after the date -
Send a follow up - People forget about the importance of following up with someone. Just a simple thank you will do. It may have only been 30 minutes of their day, but they still took the time to do it. Lastly, If they mentioned someone they should connect you with, ask here!
Overall, I have started to have a lot of young women reach out to me and the ones I can see a drive and motivation in, I continue to help in any way I can. I may not be the right person to give them an internship or job, but there is a good chance I know someone who is.