From Couch to Coffee Meeting in 1 Week
Networking is the key to landing a job but people dread it even more than the idea of running a marathon. They’d rather push their bodies to the limit than put themselves in a potentially awkward situation with another human being. Surprisingly, networking and running a marathon share a common path to success – preparation. The more you prepare and train the easier it will be and the better you’ll perform. Unlike getting rock-hard abs, training for a networking coffee meeting will take you more than 5 minutes every day, but the additional 55 minutes will be well worth it.
Here’s our patented couch-to-coffee-meeting workout routine:
Warm up by catching up on current events in your industry – 15 minutes
Start out slow, stretching your mind by scanning the headlines of sites and Twitter feeds that cover what you’re interested in. If you are into marketing check out AdAge. Tech, try Techmeme. Most industries have some kind of news site that you should skim every day. You need to understand what the things are that everyone in the industry is talking about.
Go high intensity with a single company – 30 minutes
Learn all about it. Get obsessive. Read their blog. Read all their tweets. Read their annual report (but just the first few pages, the rest is super boring).You’re not going to be the smartest person in the room just by reading about it but you don’t want to look ignorant in front of other people. Learn how how the company is doing, how their products work and where they are going.
Kick it up a notch and look at the bigger picture – 10 minutes
Time to push yourself. Compare what you learned about this company with other companies in the industry. Your goal is to understand which one you like better and to be able to articulate why.
Cool down by writing down your unanswered questions – 5 minutes
Almost there! Take a deep breath and reflect on all that work you did reading and learning about the industry. There are going to be questions you have that you can’t find the answers to. Write them all down. These are the questions that someone in the know (aka – the person you’re having coffee with) can answer for you and will show them that you are serious about working in this industry.
Once you’ve done this for a week you’ll be ready to go. Your mind will be limber and your confidence walking into your coffee meeting will be high. Just remember that successful coffee meetings end with a handshake and a list of new people to talk to while successful marathons end with a medal and a gatorade dump and you’ll be a winner.
Getting strong now…
Written by Chris Law