Always Meet For Coffee: Don’t Pass Up Career Opportunities, Even When You’re Not Looking

July 2015 | Riviera Partners

Job momentum in the technology sector shows no signs of slowing down. In 2014, the San Francisco metro area reached statistical full employment, and science and technology is considered one of the top performing industries. Additionally, software engineering consistently ranks highly among careers based on...

Job momentum in the technology sector shows no signs of slowing down. In 2014, the San Francisco metro area reached statistical full employment, and science and technology is considered one of the top performing industries. Additionally, software engineering consistently ranks highly among careers based on compensation and job availability – so how can you best leverage this pool of opportunities to further your own career? In short – always meet for coffee.

If you’re an engineering executive, you’ve likely experienced firsthand the increasing volume of calls from recruiters pitching new opportunities, colleagues touting hot new startup ideas or a VC connection that’s hoping to chat with you over coffee. You might be prone to say you’re too involved with another project to consider deals, but that’s the wrong move. The market has never been riper with opportunity for new engineering leadership and you will never know when that perfect opportunity, with tough challenges, an inspirational leadership team and big financial upside, is available if you don’t keep your options open.

Even if you’re not actively considering new career opportunities, don’t shut yourself off to exploring your options. The case for coffee:

  • “Busy” isn’t always “best” for your career – Often it takes someone on the outside to get our attention and give us perspective. When was the last time you took stock of your career positioning and market value? My advice: it should be today (or yesterday).
  • Intellectual curiosity needs feeding – Let’s face it, we don’t know what we don’t know. Knowledge gives you leverage and power, and curiosity leads to discovery, which educates and empowers. Stay empowered.
  • Timing – It’s impossible to time “if” or “when” a deal may take off, but with market intelligence, it’s much easier to make educated timing decisions about your next move. Meeting with people helps you stay in the know so you can make the move that’s best for your career and life.
  • Expanding the “The Master Mind” group – This group is defined by Napoleon Hill as “an alliance of two or more minds blended together in a spirit of perfect harmony, cooperating for the attainment of one single definite major purpose.” In other words: to get where you want to go, you’ll need help, even if you’re not trying to get somewhere at this very moment.

This advice really applies to all career paths – if someone is interested in speaking with you about a job, do it. At the end of the day, you’ve got nothing to lose and potentially the world to gain. So take the meeting. And for you non-coffee drinkers: now would be a good time to start.