It’s the best time to be looking for a job. It’s a highly social time of the year. Everyone is hosting a party to celebrate a holiday or the end of the year. Due to the nature of the holidays, people are in a giving mood. Attend as many events as you can and meet as many people as you can.
Here are five things you should know to make this holiday season’s networking successful for you.
Networking isn’t about getting the job. It’s about establishing relationships with people. It’s about being giving and taking with you doing quite a bit of giving while establishing a relationship. Give with a sincere and generous spirit instead of “I’ll give now but you will have to give later.” That’s a one-sided relationship. While networking in this way, you need patience. Things will not happen overnight. But, you are laying foundations and planting seeds that will pay off in the long run.
Know how to start conversations. People are not going to events looking for you. You are looking for them. Before the event, take a look at the news to see what people are talking about. Some good starters are the weather, the venue and the refreshments, the event sponsor/host, or local sports teams. Avoid hot topics such as politics and religion.
Follow up. Building a relationship requires contact after the first conversation. Remember to continue the relationship after the holidays. During the conversation, note the things that interest them or some problem they want solved. When you follow-up, include where you met and a little about your conversation.
Dress—You don’t want to be remembered for the “outfit” you were wearing. Keep your apparel festive but conservative.
Food—Don’t over indulge at any party. It’s a long season with delicious, tempting food resulting in holiday weight gain you will regret in the New Year.
Alcohol—Avoid alcohol; stick to soft drinks or club soda. You reduce your inhibitions and run the risk of not remembering the people you spoke to and what you said you would follow-up on. And you don’t want to embarrass yourself.
Business cards and resumes—Bring plenty of business cards with you; you don’t want to run out when you meet “the” person. Wait for a request for your résumé before sending it out and don’t give it at networking events.
Final thoughts. Your mindset will go a long way in determining how successful you are during the holiday season. People like friendly, positive people. They will be more willing to help you if you are a likeable person.
The holiday season is the best time to build your network. Family, friends, companies, schools, associations and clubs celebrate at the end of the year. Be prepared to meet people and add to your network. Enjoy yourself, be positive and a new job will be waiting for you in the New Year.
How can I help you in your job search?