Top 10 ways to network through the holidays

The winter holidays are almost upon us! It is a fact that the job market slows down a bit over the holidays, and that people are a bit harder to get out for networking. You can curse this annual materialistic merchant’s feast, or you can use it. Here are some creative ways to use this great networking time.

1). Holiday parties. Many organizations have holiday parties this time of the year. Go to as many of these as you can. If you’re in Denver don’t miss the “Rock Your World Holiday Party” on Tuesday, November 30th, put on by Integrated Alliances. You can register for that here.

Holiday parties are a great way to network because people are relaxed…and maybe a little tipsy. This makes them more open to a chat, and to helping you. But a warning. Don’t drink much yourself. You want your wits about you.

2). Family events. Aunt Gertrude is probably not going to help you with your job search, but your brother-in-law might. Many people bring dates or friends to family events. Don’t miss this opportunity to find out what these people do, and set up time to meet for coffee. The so-called “loser” who married your brother might just be your ticket to a great job!

3). Holiday events. The Denver Botanic Gardens  has a great “Blossoms of Lights” celebration each year. The Denver Zoo has “Zoo Lights.” People are relaxed at these events. They’re often there with their kids. Chestnuts are roasting on an open fire, and Jack Frost is nipping at everyone’s nose. Get past your comfort zone and start to talk to people at these events. A few years ago, I met someone who became a client at “Blossoms of Light” inside at the hot chocolate station.

4). Restaurants. Lots of people eat out this time of the year. My family and I eat Thanksgiving dinner out every other year. A couple of our clients have found positions just by chatting up people in the waiting area of restaurants.

5). Your spouse’s (or friend’s) office party. I know, I know. You hate these things. But don’t discount them. They can be a great opportunity to meet both people at your spouse’s office and the spouses of people at your spouse’s office. You, again, have people who are professional and usually working in one place, relaxed, and open to talking to people.

6). The office party where you’re contracting. If you’re invited, take advantage of the office party where you’re contracting (if you’re contracting) for all of the reasons mentioned above.

7). Neighborhood events. Not every neighborhood is as fanatic about the holidays as that the Cranks lived in. But many of your neighbors will have a holiday party. If you’re friendly with them, you might get invited. Hint around that you’re open to this when you’re chatting about the HOA or snow removal.

8). Association meetings. Many associations or groups suspend meetings for December, but many don’t. And, while most of these meetings are holiday parties, many of them are not. If there is an association or group meeting in December, go to it. It will probably not be terribly well attended, but this gives you a better chance to interact with those who are present.

9) ACG. Register now for both the December and January ACG meeting. These are usually well attended, and, being who they are, the executives at ACG are fired up for the new year. Register for ACG here.

10). Sports or cultural events. Talk to people at sports or cultural events. The Colorado Symphony Orchestra Messiah sing-a-long is a great outing, and attracts the kinds of people you want to talk to. During intermission, mingle with your fellow Handel fans, and get to know someone who might be able to help you get employed.

One of the best things you can do is to always carry your business cards with you to every holiday function. Also, carry something (electronic or otherwise) to take notes on. These tips will let you use the holiday season to the fullest.

Interviews are hard to come by these days! Make sure that you do your best on those you do get. Our new comprehensive interviewing book can help you succeed. Go here for more information and to order.

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