How to Use Your Career Walking Deck in a Coffee Chat

Over the years, I’ve had many readers reach out to me about how my blog has helped them create a career walking deck! I’ve also had many people ask me “how exactly do I use this in the real world?” and today’s blog post will answer just that in 3 easy steps 👀

Step 1: Create a one-pager version of your career walking deck

A career walking deck is typically 5-10 slides long because it encompasses your personal and professional narrative. This can be too much to walk through in a coffee chat — especially if you’re trying to get to know the other person — so I recommend condensing everything you have into a one pager, which is a lot easier to consume.

Your one-pager should be more high level and include the biggest highlights from your career walking deck:

  • Name, Photo
  • Personal Philosophy or Mission Statement
  • Interests, Values
  • Skills, Experiences, Achievements

Step 2: Attach your one-pager to your intro email or note

When reaching out to someone via email or LinkedIn, you can add a note to the bottom of your message and attach your one-pager.

Hi XX!

[Insert why you’re reaching out]

Thanks for your time and I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

P.S. Here is my one-pager in case you’d like to know a little bit more about me:

[Insert one-pager]

Step 3: Attach your one-pager to the meeting invite

Upon setting up a coffee chat with someone, you can add your one-pager to the bottom of the meeting invite/email as an optional pre-read. Below is an example.

Sometimes, people will see this in advance and bring it up in the coffee chat. This serves a great way to break the ice and gives you an opportunity to quickly introduce yourself.

Other times, people may not see it or have the time to read it. When starting the coffee chat you can say something like “I am really excited to meet and learn from you today and thought I could start off by breaking the ice and telling you a little bit about myself. If you don’t mind, I’ll share my screen and walk through my one-pager for a couple minutes and then we can dive into my questions!”

Ultimately, your career walking deck serves as a meaningful way to establish a connection with your counterpart in a coffee chat and it often leads them to open up about their experiences as well if you have any affinities.

Try it out!

Now you have a sense of how to use your career walking deck in your next coffee chat. Stay tuned for a future blog post with steps on how to use it in an interview setting.

You can learn more about career walking decks here and please feel free to reach out on LinkedIn if you have any questions!