By Rosemary Hook

Career Over CoffeeWhen I opened the front door last Friday morning, I thought for a moment that perhaps I had parked near the sprinkler.  Water droplets on the car were a new phenomenon, and after four months of dry weather, rain in the driveway meant rain on the highway.
Like the flash of lightning in the morning sky, I hit the road and headed north toward the best pre-weekend gathering I’ve had for the past three years:  AWC’s Careers Over Coffee. 

Co-hosting this forum with incoming AWC President, Dara Quackenbush, meant at least one of us needed to be there before women started arriving.  Mimi’s Café in the Arbor Walk is where we’d begun this first Friday of the month breakfast meeting.  Mimi’s is like the women version of Cheers.   Everybody knows our names and our table is always waiting for us, complete with diner white coffee cups.   I’m usually there by 7:30am even though Careers over Coffee (or CoC as we refer to it) doesn’t officially begin until 8 o’clock.

“Coffee hun?”  the barista asks, and just like that, my favorite day of the month has begun.

We could have called our group “Women Gabbing Over Breakfast” but that wouldn’t have been nearly as appealing.  We are an enticing forum, meeting month after month, talking about careers and jobs and the challenges that come with both.  For anyone thinking of starting a new career or returning to a previous one, this is the group to consult.

There are no easy answers, but always helpful suggestions, contacts, and “Have you thought about …” or, “Have you considered reaching out to …” Whatever the issue, the forum is there to help.   Sometimes we just want to talk about everything and nothing, all at the same time.   An AWC member-only gig, CoC in North Austin is free and we encourage you to throw the RSVP out the window.

It’s tough not to look forward to first Fridays when you know you’ll see friendly faces, some new faces, and enjoy anything from French toast to the I-ate-too-much-this-week-so-I-better-have the protein breakfast.  (Every week I tell myself that I’m only going to have toast like Julie T but as soon as I get a whiff of those breakfast smells … well, you can guess what happens.)  It’s tough to leave when 9:30 AM rolls around, but our bellies are full, and we’ve drunk enough caffeine to put a small pony into a tizzy.

The CoC North Austin group is comprised of first Friday regulars that you see in our photo:  @dquack, @taxtweet, @jtereshchuk, @ChristyAgness, @rosemaryhook and some semi-regulars who pop in when they can.

We invite you to join us at the next AWC Careers Over Coffee North Austin gathering.  Bring your appetite or your career questions …whichever will get you there faster.