If you have your sights set on a new and better job for 2018, then use your holidays to pursue this goal. Hiring slows down during December but it’s the best time of year for you to take advantage of your opportunities to network.
Last year, Kathleen was laid off and was reluctant to network. I encouraged this career counseling client to strike up conversations at holiday functions. At a party she met two interesting people and later scheduled a meeting with them. She was able to get a lead that had her working at a great job, for a new employer, in early February.
Bill felt that he would need to move on to get promoted. I recommended he network internally and he met a senior executive at a company Christmas event. This initial contact developed into a mini-mentoring relationship, which helped Bill obtain a dream promotion a few months ago.
With more parties and social gatherings at this time of year, you will have several occasions to mingle and reconnect. As you casually chitchat, remember to ask where somebody works and learn a bit about their job. File the information away to help you create, advance or develop a networking relationship. If they are a good option, inquire if you can call them to "chat" about work options at a later date. Get their email and follow -up within a day or two. Networking does work – in fact, according to the Department of Labor, last year 63% of all jobs were found through networking.
An outside interest or hobby can be a terrific foundation for developing a professional connection. Ask direct questions to uncover any activity they enjoy that can be a mutual interest to develop a new contact.
Working parents can expand their network by socializing with the parents of their kids' friends. Numerous opportunities are available to meet other parents who can become part of your informal network. Be friendly, and at some point make it a priority to learn what the person does and where they work.
Reconnect with old friends, especially college pals. This network can help you find a new job, get a promotion, secure new clients or customers. Contact your alumni association to get current addresses or emails.
Getting to know other people with whom you can share information, explore ideas, and problem-solve will be an asset to your long-term career success. So be happy, jolly and NETWORK this holiday season.
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Robin Ryan is a career counselor offering individual services including Interview Coaching and Resume Writing. She is a Speaker and the bestselling author of seven career books including 60 Seconds & You’re Hired and Over 40 & You’re Hired! She has appeared on over 2000 TV and radio shows including Oprah, Dr Phil, CNN and ABC News.