The Link Between Coffee And Networking
Before I created Cazinc The Label, I was often writing the Cazinc blog in a café (usually at St Rose in Essendon). Sitting in a café for any length of time is always an interesting experience, watching the demographics of the café change with time of day.
Before 9 am, the teenage school students come in for their coffee and breakfast, catching up on both social and school news. The next shift is “mother’s hour”, either mums arriving after school drop off, or with their babies and toddlers. These women always have two or more in their group and come to chat and laugh over coffee and breakfast before going home to get on with more mundane things. I too was one of these for years. Working from home or caring for young children can sometimes be lonely, so taking time after school drop off to catch up with a friend was something to cherish.
Around 11 am, the mums have gone and the business people on a mission to solve the problems of their world arrive. Laptop, phone and iPad to the ready, some come alone and only order a latte and are entirely focused on their work. Others come to meet colleagues and work together over lunch. It is a great place to meet for business; it is social, but you can be focused, and you do not have to hire office space.
If you love cafés as I do and use it as a meeting place for family, friends and business, then there is a book I think you will find interesting, linking coffee and networking!
Coffee Lunch Coffee, by Alana Muller, is a practical guide to mastering networking. Alana uses her experience, both personal and professional, to give tips and exercises to demonstrate how to develop networking skills and build lasting relationships to use in your personal and professional lives. A must-have for anyone who wants to increase their professional standing and success.
Networking can be lifechanging and is about building a community, which includes crafting relationships and communicating with people. The author, Alana, left her job of ten years, but rather than feeling self-pity, she booked meetings every day for nine months to connect with new companies and people, which created a safety net of contacts, which led to her success, including writing this book.
The book is an excellent read for anyone:
- In a business or looking to change jobs
- Graduates commencing a new career
- Starting companies who want to build their client numbers
Networking is a skill that can be learned and is fundamental to great success. It is a skill that is so much more than collecting business cards. The book shows you amongst other things:
- How to connect with someone in 30 seconds
- Proof how networking changed the author's life
- And, read how someone transformed a networking experience into $25 million!
Alana suggests that to get the most out of networking you need to treat it like a job. Get up early to begin planning your meetings. The ideal times to meet up with others are morning coffee, midday lunch or afternoon coffee, hence the importance of your local café.
Identifying your goals helps you to step up your networking. Short-term goals are who you want to meet and receive ideas from, to set you up to achive your long-term goals. Meet those who are involved in your field, discuss and gain insights from them. It’s a two-way process though; learn how you can help each other to achieve the long-term goals.
The next step is to exercise your networking muscles so your contacts will be there when you need them. Cultivate professional and personal relationships with your colleagues to help you get your dream job or to improve your current career.
Alana recommends making a list of people who can help you to achieve your networking goals:
- People in your community you already know
- People in your community you want to know
- Companies you would like to make a connection with
- Your “non-negotiables” which are the things you are not willing to compromise for your career
So, a café is always so much more than a coffee shop and a great place to organise your meetings to kick start your networking success.
Coffee, Lunch, Coffee is a great read for anyone looking to enhance their career.
I always knew drinking coffee would lead me to success!
Carolyn (Caz) Rowland is a fashion designer at Cazinc The Label, model, lifestyle blogger and professional Image Stylist. Caz is also a qualified NLP Master Therapist, Advanced Practitioner of Matrix Therapies, Time Line Therapist, Practitioner of Hypnotherapy, has a Diploma for Business and Life Coaching. Caz is happily married to her husband Simon, and raised four beautiful children, who are now young adults and a teenager.
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