A few rules for holiday networking that should be taken into account.
Don’t be a picture at holiday parties or corporate events. If you ever needed a reason to connect with a job contact, here it is. Yes, these events are meant to be a fun social gathering. But if you’re not in the mindset for meeting people, you might as well go home. If you do venture from the appetizer table, avoid focusing your entire conversation on your job search.
Do come prepared with business cards. Holiday parties are the perfect place to make job connections if you come prepared. Set a goal to meet a few people that evening and nab a few business cards, while exchanging your own. But remember, this is a holiday party not a meet-and-greet, so don’t overdo it.
Don’t slow down your job search. There is a common misconception that aside from seasonal hires, hiring slows around the holidays. This isn’t necessarily true. In fact, end-of-year goals still need to be met.
Do understand that key hiring personnel may be out of the office. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get an immediate response from a networking contact. You should also know that other job seekers or workers seeking to network may be thinking under that same misconception take advantage of this potential networking gap.
Don’t forget to reconnect with people already in your networking circles. Networking is all about continual connection and reciprocity. I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine, right? Well this isn’t going to change during the holidays, so don’t forget to send your old contacts a quick note.
Send a quick email, holiday card or LinkedIn message. With our busy schedules, social media is a great way to stay connected during the holidays if you don’t have time to send a real holiday card in the mail. But if you do, as always, handwritten notes are the way to go. Either way, sending that quick hello can truly make the difference in your job search.
Don’t expect a call back directly around the holidays. Be reasonable with your expectations about where hiring managers are around this time of year. Many employers are traveling or with family and friends. This means that messages might get backed up, so be patient.
Do follow-up with your contacts after the holidays are over. Give them a reasonable amount of time to catch up on work post holiday season, but don’t hesitate to connect with them again.
The holidays are a busy time of year, but it’s also a great time to network while you can. So be prepared and avoid making these mistakes as you set foot into the new year.
Thanks to Niaje!!