When you are on a job search, you tend to look at the world differently. You identify organizations you have interest in, you focus more on building your skills, and your eyes are always directed to open positions. But what about when you network?
It's important to view every interaction you have as a potential networking opportunity, and you know the holiday season will be full of those opportunities as you gather with friends and family. Be prepared to take advantage with these three tips:
- Talk - really talk - with your relatives: The holidays are a great time to rekindle relationships with relatives that you may not see often. Use them as a networking resource. Talk with them about their experience and who they know. Relatives always seem to want to give advice. This year, let them. It is a great way to expand your network, and an easy introduction to meeting new people.
- Attend as many holiday parties as you can: Meeting new people is not only a great way to make new friends, but also to expand your network. Get your name out there. Let them know you are looking for a new position. Prepare your elevator pitch, as you never know who you may run into. Remember, in these situations it is far better to talk about your skills and what you can do rather than limiting yourself to job titles.
- Volunteer: Many people take the time to volunteer during the holiday season, which makes it a great way to meet all kinds of people. Any chance you have to meet people outside of your current network, you should take. If you are volunteering at a charity you support, you already have something in common with everybody else there. Use that as a starting point. You can also volunteer within your industry. This is not only a great way to gain experience, but a fantastic way to gain contacts. Be sure to meet and talk to as many people as you can. This way, if you see an opening, they already know who you are and your work ethic.
Anybody who is willing to help you in your search could be helpful. So, this year before the holiday ham is sliced, the eggnog is poured and the New Year's ball drops, make sure you're ready to go with a strategy to attack the networking this holiday season.
Interested in more posts on job search related topics? Check out our Career Development blog.
If you're a current AIU student or alumnus looking for more career advice, please contact the Career Services Department at 877-221-5800 Option 5 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.