Why I Think You Should Meet Your CEO
It’s not as creepy as it sounds and a warrant was not put out on me.
I moved to New York because I wanted to be in magazines. Not just any old magazine, but teen magazines. After spending a few months going through HR totem poles I realized I needed a different approach. So I sat down one day and thought, “who do I want to be?” “who has my dream job?”
I picked out two or three Editor in Chiefs and asked all of my family members and friends if they had any connection to these magazines. Boom. I got results. And 5 years later I’m still in touch with this Editor in Chief.
Meeting your CEO…
- Tell everyone you know what kind of company you want to work for. Lets say you’re dying to get into a top advertising agency. Chances are you will know someone who has a connection to the CEO.
- Your schedule is their schedule. Be flexible with the date and time. My EIC had to reschedule 3 times, but I just let her choose the date and cancelled whatever else I had planned.
- Know everything about them…Including their favorite cereal. Find out what their background is before going into the meeting. The obvious is the company website, but search for blogs and articles too.
- Dress the part. Obviously you don’t want to dress better than they do, but look like you belong at the company. You can do a little research online and see what types of outfits they’ve worn to functions. I made the mistake by dressing like a stuck up consultant. The EIC actually told me!
- Don’t huff and puff if they’re running an hour late. It happens. Suck it up. If you’re feeling bitter think about how long you would wait to meet a celebrity and hopefully that will help shake it off.
- Treat them like a celebrity. You know this from experience, but people love love love talking about themselves. Ask them how they got to where they are (even if you know) and what their advice is to you.
- Follow-up immediately after. Letters are out. Email is in. Send an email when you get home or from the corner Starbucks. Bring up 2 or 3 pieces of advice that they mentioned and how you look forward to applying it. End it with “I look forward to being in touch”, or something along those lines.
- Stay on their radar. This may not be applicable to all CEOs, but the EIC taught a 1-night class at the Learning Annex and I signed up for it immediately. Stay up to date with what your role model is doing.
Even if you’re not going in for a job, you’re making connections. I didn’t get a job with this magazine, but the Editor in Chief gave me the opportunity to pitch article ideas and sure enough I got to write an article for a hot teen magazine.