Diverse group of people dressed in vintage fashion and Christmas hats dancing Conga line, snowflakes and streamers on the background, EPS 8It seems we are often asked by our clients if they should take a break from their job search over the holidays. Chances are you won’t get many interviews, but this is a great time to network and look ahead to the New Year. How can you hit the ground running? By networking like crazy over the holidays. And by networking I don’t mean asking everyone you know for a job or pushing your agenda on others. I mean taking the time to catch up, connect, deepen your relationships with family, friends, and colleagues. See our recently brainstormed Holiday Networking Tips for the one or two ideas that will make a difference in your job search. Good luck and enjoy the holidays!

20 Tips to Celebrate 20 Years of Career Transition Support

  1. Say Yes! to all invitations to holiday parties and events. This is a great time to network and connect with others. Attend as many events as you without burning out. It is important to keep your energy up!
  2. Bring along enough business cards to hand out. Often the more detail on the business card, the better. You can include bullets under your name or use the back of the card to include more detail on what you do.
  3. Prepare yourself for each event you attend. Be ready to clearly and concisely tell people what you do and where you’re at with your work search. There is no need to apologize for not working.
  4. Bring along your calendar or phone so you can schedule a coffee or lunch or information meeting. You don’t want to miss an opportunity because your phone is charging at home.
  5. Be prepared for the different types of events you will be attending. Family events and gatherings with friends and professional networking opportunities are different. Know what you will say, and questions you will ask, for each event.
  6. Prepare some questions ahead of time to get the conversation started: How do you know the host? What plans do you have for next year? What do you look forward to this winter?
  7. Talk about something other than business. You want to get to know people on a personal level. Ask them where they grew up; holiday traditions in their family; plans for winter travel.
  8. Host a party yourself. Have an open house at your home or host friends and contacts at a favorite location. It’s a great way to reach out and reconnect with folks. And don’t forget about your neighbours, now is a great time to say hello and take some time to find out more about the people you live near but haven’t gotten to know yet.
  9. Send out holiday greetings. Do you remember the last time you received an actual paper card? So will they! Remember to send the host of the holiday events you attend a thank you card as well, they are always appreciated.
  10. Focus on other people. Listen as much as you talk. It’s better to err on the side of listening too much than talking about yourself and your work search. Whatever you do, don’t be pushy. If they have a job opening, they will let you know. You won’t need to ask.
  11. Dress appropriately. What kind of event is it? Dressy, casual, whatever the occasion, make sure you look professional. Now is not a time to show off your new burlesque outfit.
  12. Call people to make a more personal connection over the holidays. This works great with friends and family, and with work colleagues you have stayed in touch with as well.
  13. Use LinkedIn to put faces to the names of people you know will be there. It really helps to be prepared and it feels great when you can put a name to a face.
  14. Have fun, but don’t eat or drink too much. Now is not a time to overdo it, especially with alcohol.
  15. Make sure you are in a good frame of mind when you head out the door. Don’t be the holiday bummer no one wants to talk to because all they do is complain.
  16. Use New Year’s as an opportunity to reflect on the past year, and be purposeful about the coming year. Invite close friends and family to join you.
  17. Consider volunteering over the holidays. There are lots of opportunities to give to others and you will feel good about making a difference in the lives of people you haven’t met yet.
  18. Keep track of what you do, who you meet, and make sure you follow up in the coming weeks and months.
  19. Don’t discount or ignore someone you don’t know – you just never know who might have a lead for you. We all have an intrinsic desire to help others plus we know lots of other people who just might be able to help.
  20. Make the most of the opportunity to enjoy the company of family, friends and colleagues over the holidays!