thelighthouse Playbook for a Coffee Chat

This playbook includes a process and question guide to leverage for your informational coffee chats.

The process:

Step #1: Reaching Out

Some tips:

Here are some real examples for reference:

“Hi Jack, hope you are well! We previously worked as colleagues at [company name] a few years ago. I currently work as an [current role] in [current company]. I saw on LinkedIn that you now work in Product Management. I’m exploring making the switch as well and would really appreciate if I could ask you a few specific questions about the transition over email or a 30 minute phone call if you’re open to it?”

“Hi Alex! Long time no see — hope all is well with you. Seems like you have been up to some great things. I just checked out your company’s website and think what you’re doing is awesome. From a personal standpoint, I actually left my job in April — same company I was at since we graduated (crazy). I have been traveling for a bit, and am now at a crossroads trying to figure out my next move. I’d love to catch up and learn more about the work you’re doing. Let me know if you have time in the coming weeks to grab coffee and chat. PS — pretty sure you’re still in my phone as “Alex — Floor 2” from college days…”

“Hey James, The event we met at really encouraged me to look at my career aspirations closer and be more critical of my current role. I briefly mentioned that I had an idea similar to your company’s and really think that there is a big demand for this kind of network. I was wondering if you would have 15–30 minutes in the coming 2/3 weeks to talk a bit more about your experience quitting corporate to start your own business.”

Step #2: Schedule the meeting

Some tips:

Step #3: Having the conversation

Some tips:

Sample Structure:

Questions if you’re looking to learn more about a specific industry or role:

Questions if you’re looking to learn more about career transition:

Step #4: Send a thank you note

Some tips:

Here is a real example for reference:

“Subject: Thank you!

Hi Jody,

Thank you again for your time yesterday. It was so helpful to learn more about your background and how you made the switch from consulting to tech. I especially loved your suggestion on trying to get onto tech consulting projects to start to build up my experience in the space. Also, I subscribed to Gary’s Guide and the event lineup looks great — thanks again for that recommendation!

I’ll definitely keep you posted as I make the transition and look forward to keeping in touch. Again, please don’t hesitate to reach out if I can be of help in any way.

Thank you again, Jody!

Nancy”

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

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