Happy Holidays and Happy Networking!

If you’re in job hunting mode around the holidays you’ll hear that the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is dead time – no hiring is happening, no one is around. Hearing that, you may think “I may as well take the holidays off and get ready to restart my search January 1”. Understandable, but if you take this approach, you may miss out on some of the best networking opportunities you’ll get all year long!

Because the holidays tend to be a slower time at many companies it can give folks the chance to catch up with their emails and phone calls. Which gives you the chance to reach out to those you haven’t connected with in a while. If you catch people when they are less frenzied at work and perhaps in a festive, charitable frame of mind you may have some great conversations—and get some great information or great leads. So, ask for that lunch or coffee date!

A recent article from dice.com offers some great specific tips as to how to set your holiday networking goals for maximum effect. Here are a few:

Make a List of People You’d Like to Meet

Any endeavor is more successful when you take a strategic approach—and that applies to networking, too. Start by making a list of the 10 people you’d like to meet in person over the holidays. Then, increase your chances of connecting by figuring out where they like to hang out.

Take full advantage of seasonal events by calling to introduce yourself to the people on your networking list. See if they will be attending some of the same parties and events, and let them know that you will see them there.

Here’s another tip: When you are trying to build your network, never turn down an invite to a holiday party. No invite? No problem. See if you can tag along with a friend or someone from your network.

Turn Acquaintances into Connections

Use the holiday season to turn the influential people you met this year into stronger connections and allies in the job-hunting process. How? Send each one a holiday card with a personal note that not only expresses good wishes but one or two of your key achievements, and how you hope to expand on those in the coming year.

You’ll not only stand out; it’s the perfect opportunity to ask if they want to grab lunch or coffee and catch up. Even if they want to hold off on getting together, try to schedule a time to meet after the first of the year, and you will be further along in the networking cycle.

Expand Your Circle of Influence

Most people think of networking only in traditional venues and business-oriented gatherings, but that’s not using the power of networking to its fullest, stated Dr. Ivan Miner, founder of BNI.

Leverage the holidays to meet people outside your industry or specialty by attending events that you don’t normally attend. Frankly, non-traditional networking settings offer the most bang for your buck, he added.  

For instance, many businesses host appreciation events for clients, vendors and even prospective hires. Charity events, alumni parties and fundraisers are other great places to rub elbows with key influencers around the holiday season.

Prepare a Teaser Topic

If you happen to connect with someone near the end of the year, have an idea ready that describes how you can improve the industry or increase profits and performance. Use that idea as a springboard to set-up a face-to-face meeting.

For more tips and insights check out the entire article:https://insights.dice.com/2019/11/25/networking-strategies-holidays-technology/

Happy Holidays, Happy Networking and Good Luck!