How To Mix And Mingle Your Way Into A New Job
The holidays are one of the best times of the year for networking. So, if you’re actively looking for a job, even if you’re thinking about it, December is a great month to get out and meet people. This month, there are even more places to do this.
Begin with your office holiday party. It’s tempting to think we know the people that we work with I but if you work in a large corporation, I’ve worked in a couple, you probably don’t. There are a lot of people you are friendly with, as in your frequently exchange emails or phone calls, who you’ve never met face-to-face. Your office party is the perfect opportunity to put faces to names and, maybe, get to know your boss a little better too.
An even better place to network is your boyfriend’s, girlfriend’s, or spouse’s holiday party. These events provide the opportunity to meet an entire group of people that you likely don’t know. Connections you make outside of your inner circle are more likely to introduce you to others you don’t already know.
Another great spot are industry holiday parties. Many national organizations have local chapters which means there’s a lot going on in December. What makes holiday events even better is that instead of dinner and a speaker, it’s a more relaxed holiday setting designed to help people mix and mingle. Whatever industry you’re in, HR or marketing or financial services, you can probably find a local or semi local event. Go online and explore.
Most of us associate networking with business events. But, social events are prime networking venues as well. Maybe your cousin throws a big holiday party every year or you receive an invitation from a friend you haven’t Seen in five years to come to his New Year’s Day the potluck brunch. Go. If you’re serious about finding a new job meet as many people as you can.
Holiday parties are not the time to run around pushing your business cards at people. While that’s not networking ever, it’s particularly offensive now. That said, do bring business cards with you. Tuck some in your pocket or purse. But, only give them out to people who ask.
When you tell people that you’re looking for a new position don’t ask them to “keep you in mind” if they see anything. Help them help you by giving them something specific. For example, I’m looking for a position as director of marketing with a small to midsized publishing company or I’m looking for a VP of sales position with a technology firm. Providing details will 1) help them remember what you’re looking for and 2) not waste your time with irrelevant leads.
December is also a good time to email recruiters you are working with or have worked with in the past. Everyone likes to be thought of during the holidays, to get an email without an ask. And it’s a good way to stay top of mind.
The holidays provide many chances to expand your circle. Relaxed, festive settings make it easier to strike up conversations with strangers. Try to attend at least one networking event each week in December. You’ll meet new people, have some fun, and maybe make some new friends.