Creative Career Level Up

How to execute a Career Chat (Part 3/3)

Feb 29, 2024
Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Welcome to the final newsletter in our series on Career Chats.

In this final installment, I'm going to share with you exactly what you need to do to successfully execute a Career Chat.

Hopefully with all the prep you have done, you are already in a great position for the chat to go well.

BUT you still want to make sure you guide the conversation, so you get everything you need out of it, whilst nurturing the relationship with this new contact.

The Larger Goal

And that should be the larger goal of the chat - not just to learn from someone who has great advice. 

But to build the foundations of a relationship that will last more than just one chat.

On my Creative Career Level Up programme, we put people into our ‘Power Team’. A Power Team is a metaphorical group of people who we know we can consult in the future for advice in our careers. If someone is in your corner, they are in your Power Team.

Career Chat Steps

So, here are the steps you should follow to ensure your Career Chat goes smoothly.

1. Thank Them

You should always open the conversation thanking them for their time. This is a no brainer. You must acknowledge their generosity in giving you their time.

I would go one step further at this point and let them know that you have done your research.

Tell them you found an article or looked at their Linkedin and that you are excited to hear about their career. This builds rapport and shows them you have ‘skin in the game’ for this chat.

2. State what you hope to achieve

I would also use the opening of your chat to give them a sense of what the purpose of this chat is. You will have prepared this in advance.

This is very helpful for the other person as it allows them to tailor their advice and knowledge to what you need. A ‘brief’ of sorts if we are using Creative industry language.

3. Focus on Them

At the start of the chat, focus on them. People love to talk about themselves. 

Asking them about their career, showing you have done your homework and allowing them to be the focus, sets the tone for the chat to go well.

4. Land some of your Qs

Initially you can just let the chat go where it goes. There is a lot that can be gained by letting your contact talk about their career. 

However, at some point you want to land some of your Qs.

You need to get specific information out of the chat so make sure you get the questions you want answered.

5. Listen for cues

You also want to make sure you learn enough about your contact to keep in touch with them. 

So throughout the chat, listen for cues and probe deeper where necessarily. Ask them what their challenges are, listen for their personal interests - anything that you can use as a way of keeping in touch with them.

For example, when I was networking, someone I spoke with said they were going to Bali soon. I've been to Bali many times and as a follow up to our chat, I sent them a list of my top Bali recommendations. They’ve been a close contact ever since! 

6. Land your Ask

If you have worked out an ‘ask’ in advance, you need to land it before the chat finishes. But wait until the end of the chat.

The reason we want to ask at the end is because this gives us time to build rapport and increase the chance that they say yes to our ask. 

Make sure to read the room. If it doesn’t feel like you have enough rapport to ask, save it for another time. You can always nurture the relationship in the meantime and give them an ‘ask’ at a later date.

7. Send a follow up note

You MUST always send a follow up note with a thank-you. It's basic business etiquette if you have taken someone's time. 

People remember these things, so don't forget to do it. Even better if you can send a thank you with some value-add for them (like my Bali example above). 

Go back through what they shared with you and see if there is something you can send with your thank-you that really shows you appreciated their time. 


Following these 7 steps will greatly increase your chances that you get exactly what you need from the Career Chat, as well as build a solid foundation for your future relationship with this person.

You should now have everything you need to execute a successful Career Chat - all the way from how to ask, to exact prep and now execution.

Going forward, I recommend you have at least two Career Chats per month. Either with new people or with those in your Power Team.

Honestly, it is the best thing you can do for your career. 

And will ensure if you need a job in the future, there is a whole team of support behind you.

I help people in the Marketing and Creative and Tech Industries to find their next perfect role. 

If you are looking to level-up your career, use the link below to schedule some time to chat about whether the programme might be right for you.