September 29 is National Coffee Day, which means you can find cool deals on hot drinks at many coffeehouses around the country. The holiday falls on Saturday this year, so you may not be gathering in the break room with your coworkers, but any day is a reason to grab of java. Why’s that? That short break for a pick me up could be the perfect opportunity to network.

Networking and IT Recruiting

Networking is vital in any industry but especially important in the IT world, whether you’re looking to strengthen your current job or find a new one. How can a coffee meeting help your career? Fast Company has some suggestions. Their experts say even though coffee breaks are more informal than interviews; you should go in with a plan. Know what you want to talk about career-wise, but also remember to be social. Start with small talk, and then get to the questions and conversations about work.

Other tips from the experts include:

  1. Do research ahead of time and find a personal connection with the person you’re meeting. That will help with relationship building. Asking a thoughtful question leaves a lasting impression.
  2. Bring business cards with you everywhere. You never know whom you may end up talking to that proves a great network connection.
  3. Take notes. You can use the back of the business card but put down how you met, interesting things that were said and any follow-up that may be necessary. It always helps later when you see the card and get a little jog of the memory based on what you wrote down.
  4. Have a networking partner. Find someone that does something different than you, take a stack of their cards (and give yours to them). That way, if someone mentions they are looking for someone with your partner’s skills, you can refer them and likewise, they can recommend you as well. It’s a win/win.
  5. Follow up with everyone you talked to. It’s the easy last step that most people forget and it’s what drives the next step. Don’t be afraid to follow-up and discuss what topics were brought up or push with the next step.

One final tip, know when it’s time to leave. Anthony Tjan, CEO, Managing Partner and Founder of the venture capital firm Cue Ball says you should always leave people wanting more. “Consider cutting — at least mentally — your meeting time by at 20-30% to make sure you focus on the right things first, and to understand that your goal may be to have them wish for more time, or even another meeting,” Tjan writes in the Harvard Business Review.

Remember the next time you’re feeling sluggish either physically or career-wise, a quick cup of coffee could be the first step toward building a better career. Networking takes time and effort, so remember to follow up after September 29!

Danielle Foppe is a Lead Technical Recruiter at Business Centric Technology. If you are interested in learning more about how to get the best IT talent in the Dallas metroplex, contact Danielle directly at dfoppe@bct-corp.com or call us at 972-267-7950. Business Centric Technology specializes in recruiting IT talent in Dallas, Ft. Worth and North Texas. If you are looking for a rewarding career contact us today.