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Let’s Grab a Coffee – Strategies to Move Ahead

Author: Frances Young

Date: January 30, 2018

Categories: Lean In,Member Spotlight


It wasn’t too long ago that I was a university grad trying to look for my first ‘real’ job. Time and time again, professionals would tell me to network but, being a coddled millennial, I knew that my skills and experience could land me my dream job. Fast forward four jobs later and I can tell you what everyone already told me, it was all through networking.

In fact, the role I currently possess came from Lean In networking (yes, shameless plug). It was through a 10 000 Coffee date That I met Olga, a fellow Lean In member. 10 000 Coffees was an initiative that Lean In launched in the summer to promote networking opportunities for its members. Because, hey, why not get to know someone new, and if something came out of it, even better. So, over a couple of flat white coffees, Olga and I chatted about Toronto’s digital marketing realm and the opportunities and challenges that came with it. I had just started a job and was getting her advice on the industry here. We chatted a couple times after and caught up during Lean In events. I loved my old job but because of an office relocation, I knew I had to pivot. Low and behold, I received a message from Olga saying there was an opening at her company, Intelex Technologies.

I usually leave the horoscopes, tarot card readings, and crystals to my older sister but my goodness, if fate does exist, this was it. Not only did Intelex’s corporate values of inclusivity and innovation strongly align with mine, but it was also a 15 minute walk from my house. The stars seemed to align.

A phone call screening, a project and two interviews later, and I had received an offer. It had a January start date so I was able to enjoy my holidays and I had time to prepare for the role.

Reading this story now, I understand I may have oversimplified the process of getting a job tying back to connections but that’s purposeful. In fact, I would take that a step further, and network and grab coffee when you’re not looking for a job. That’s when you can be your authentic self without seeming like you want something in return from the other person.

So get out there! Volunteer, get a coffee, make authentic connections- who knows? Your dream job may just be a cappuccino away.

Olga and Frances

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