If you’re looking for an internship, hoping to land a new job or just trying to learn about a different line of work, one of the best things you can do is find someone who has the job you’re interested in and invite that person for coffee and a chat. A meeting over coffee (or tea or lattes!) is the ideal professional opportunity; done properly, is the epitome of low-risk, high-reward networking.
How, you ask? Easy.
Many people are happy to help an up-and-coming professional, especially when it means a free beverage, a break from the office and a chance to talk about their own success. Plus, chances are good that your potential new friend is already dialed-in to his or her own strong network and will reference your enviable self-starterness at the mere mention of your name.
(Still interested in the risk? Fine, fine– it’s 30 minutes of casual conversation in a low-key setting with a probably delicious drink. Scary, right?)
Once you know who you’d like to speak with, a short email will do the trick: introduce yourself, mention what you’re hoping to learn about and explain what prompted you to reach out to that person in particular. Keep your request short and sweet and be sure to propose a specific date and time.
Once you’ve made contact, follow these tips for caffeinated success:
Heather Curry is an advisor for America’s Future Foundation.
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