The holidays were made for networking. Take advantage of the holiday season to expand your network and to reconnect with contacts.
Make Networking a Priority — Many managers have a bit of breathing room around the holidays if their job doesn’t require significant year end activity. Their phones ring less often, they receive fewer emails and they are in fewer meetings since many colleagues and customers take time off. Take advantage of this opportunity to significantly ramp up your networking. Identify contacts in your target companies. Reach out to them and ask to meet over a cup of coffee. They are more likely to take the meeting when things are quiet. This is an outstanding opportunity to make more connections in a short period of time. Use the opportunity to make key connections in the companies you are most interested in as a future employer. Set networking goals for yourself each week and hold yourself accountable.
Low Hanging Fruit – No everyone enjoys networking but it critical to career success. Take advantage of the many social events during the holidays to network in a friendly and safe environment. The holidays bring low hanging fruit – family gatherings, celebrations with friends, social events with professional associations and even the office holiday party. With little effort, you can meet a large number of interesting people over the holidays.
Prepare for Opportunities – The key advantage of all this yearend networking is that employers have new positions approved with the start of the new year. Maybe the person you met with will have a need and will remember the positive impression you made. Maybe the position is in another part of the organization but your contact can forward your resume with a note of recommendation. Maybe you will even be given a heads up about a position that will be opening soon. While the formal hiring process may slow down a bit with key players on vacation it is a critical time to move your search forward with some strategic networking.