By: Courtney Beam
The holidays are in full swing and if you’re like most of us, it’s hard to imagine how to squeeze in any more activities, much less networking. The truth is, the holiday season offers valuable networking opportunities and whether you are looking for a job or looking to add to or nourish your own network, now is the perfect time to do it. People are generally more relaxed this time of year, so these events can be very fun and laid-back. Here are a few tips I’d suggest to leverage the opportunities that are available this time of year.
- Consider Hosting Your Own Event: Whether you host a smaller gathering at home, or look into hosting a larger event at a local venue, this is a great opportunity to reach out to your existing network and reconnect with people. This is also a great way to stay in front of your important connections in a more relaxed setting.
- Prepare, prepare, prepare! Don’t show up at a networking event unprepared. Prepare your 30-second elevator pitch and practice it well enough that you can say it without stumbling. Don’t forget to bring your business cards!
- Set a Goal: Don’t leave until you’ve had five meaningful conversations, aim to find four new connections or make a goal to learn one new thing from someone. Whatever your goal is, if you have a strategy going into it you’ll find that you’ll have more productive, beneficial conversations.
- Don’t Stop Networking: There are typically more options for networking events this time of year. There are smaller open-houses, holiday socials, company parties and many more. If you are in a job search, don’t skip the holiday networking events either. Companies hire year-round. If they have a position to fill, they aren’t going to take December off when trying to fill it. Use these opportunities to connect with people from your target companies.
What are other networking tips that you’ve found helpful during the holiday season? Leave your comments below. We’d love to hear from you!