The holidays are very busy. You have school plays, work parties, holiday parties, traveling for family, shopping, etc. With all this going on (and more), work starts taking a backseat. However, it turns out the holidays are the perfect time to start advancing your career. Whether you’re looking for a new job or looking to advance in your current career, the holidays are the perfect time to network.
As a staffing agency, networking is crucial. Whether we are networking to find the best candidates or networking to find great jobs for our candidates, networking is the way of business. You never know who you’re going to meet.
Where to network:
- Family and Friends Gatherings: From family gatherings to Friendsgiving to significant other’s party invites, holiday parties are a great way to start building a networking channel. As your catching up with your aunt that you see once a year, you find out she has a new job and connections into an industry you always wanted to pursue. Maybe you are a website designer. As your talking to your cousin’s new significant other you find out he just launched a business and needs help constructing a website. Introduce yourself to new faces at friends and family holiday parties. You never know who you’re going to meet.
- School/Community/Church Plays: You know your daughter is friends with Katelynn. How much do you know about Katelynn’s parents? Maybe one of her parents is the HR manager, CEO, recruiter, or best friends with a great company. What about Eric, the guy you sit next to every Sunday morning at church? What does he do? Starting conversations and building relationships can open doors you didn’t even know were there.
- Work Parties: When trying to advance your career in a company you already work for, holiday work parties are a great opportunity to introduce yourself and leave a lasting impression. Take the opportunity to introduce yourself to the big boss or start a conversation with the head of your department. Start conversations off naturally and let them evolve into something more. Don’t force “shop talk” if he/she is trying to relax. However, given the opportunity, let them know about how you have an idea to save money on the cost of production and if he/she has time for a meeting Monday morning, or how you've always been interested in working in ____ area of the company.
- Community Events: Around the holidays there are Toys for Tots, food banks, art groups, and many other holiday-themed volunteer opportunities. Besides networking with people who volunteer and event coordinators, volunteering can also become a full-time job.
All networking comes from building relationships. Be personable and professional. Always keep business cards on yourself.