Have you been to Careers over Coffee lately? I hadn’t dropped in to this WCA meetup for more than a year, but joined the August session at Mimi’s North.

COC is a member benefit that allows us to visit casually in small groups. While there is sometimes an assigned topic or even a speaker, August’s meeting was a simple roundtable. Just my speed.

It was a valuable experience and I promise not to wait another year to go back! Our group of eight included job-seekers, corporate employees, freelancers and entrepreneurs. Most dropped in from North Austin, but one brave commuter joined us from Elgin!

As we introduced ourselves over coffee, a recurring theme came forward. “Selling our skills and services to our clients or potential employers is one of the hardest things we do.”  We shared our experiences and advice all morning.

Here are three quick things I learned:

Start with Strategic Questions

As a freelancer, I appreciated hearing from a member with corporate PR experience. Her company vets potential clients before investing in proposals and other labor-intensive research using BANT.

B – Do they have the Budget?

A – Are you negotiating with someone who has the Authority to hire?

N – Do they have a Need, or just kicking the tires?

T – What is their Timeline?

Potential clients appreciate a quick, simple discussion to make sure everyone’s expectations are the same. Looking for a new job? Consider evaluating potential employers in these areas.

Free ACC Classes for Job Seekers

One of our job-seekers had just completed free training available through ACC’s Career Services. Strategies for the Job Seeking Community is an intensive career and employment-search training course that helped her update her resume, practice interviewing and get feedback from career experts. She said it was very eye-opening, and did I mention, FREE?

Taking notes

We also discovered that many of us conduct a lot of interviews and dream of an affordable, reliable transcription service.

Rev.com got a shout out for accuracy and turnaround within hours.

Learn more about upcoming Careers Over Coffee and other WCA events