“No one is hiring at this time of year!”
Is this the voice in your head?
I am here to tell you that it’s NOT true.
This time of year is when you get to have FUN with the job search process.
With the endless amount of networking opportunities available, the holidays will bring up many leads to pursue, and an abundance of opportunities to expand your network (yes, even for you, introverts).
However: Networking events are like anything else—if you show up without a plan or desired outcome, you’re probably going to come away from the event thinking, “Wow, what a waste of time.”
Like it or not, if you spend the entire time following around the trays of canapés, you’re missing the entire point.
Here are some tips for you:
1. Do your research beforehand.
and make sure the event you’ve got in mind is one that will benefit your goal, whether personal or professional. Even if just want to have fun, make sure you know that’s your intention.
2. Be curious.
Ask questions, and learn about problems and opportunities within your contact’s industry. Make mental notes of items to research and explore after the event.
You never know, if you follow up properly and develop a relationship… simply being curious at that one event could be the thing that leads to your next job.
Holiday season is upon us which means you’ll likely be attending a lot of holiday networking events.
Not just your family events, but events at your job and any associations you may be a part of.
While advancing your career may not be the point of these events, they do present the perfect opportunity to get a little networking in. Simply put, no one is expecting you to vie for a job at a holiday party like you would in a more professional context.
Holiday parties also typically aren’t forced social situations – which is what can make professional networking events so uncomfortable.
3. Come from a place of service.
There is nothing more irritating than someone at a networking event who immediately starts pitching themselves upon meeting someone.
Rather than going to the networking event thinking about how many people you need to talk to, how many business cards you need to collect or what deal you need to close, consider going with the intention of being helpful to someone else. Even setting out to help just one person can be more effective than handing out business cards.
Get in the spirit of the holidays and attend these events with service in mind. It takes the pressure of “networking” off of you and can open the doors to building relationships that may very well lead to opportunity later on.
4. Take advantage of the holiday small talk.
The holidays present us with a ton of conversation starters that we can’t call upon the rest of the year. According to Debra Fine, author of The Fine Art of Small Talk, you can ask questions like “What are some your family holiday traditions?” or “What is your favorite thing about the holiday season? Why?”
This opens the door for conversation instead of forcing one to occur. Eventually the conversation will lead to everyone’s favorite small talk question “So, what do you do?” This is when you can bring up career goals or the fact that you are looking for a job.
The point is to use this time of year to let a conversation about your career come up naturally.
5. Gravitate towards the positive people.
steering clear of the ‘bah-humbug’ crowd. It’s imperative to stay positive during the holidays. I am all for helping people who are down with a little pick-me-up. But if you feel someone is just a Debbie Downer who is going to bring you down with him/her, then find someone else to chat with, learn about, and help. This is networking not therapy. Help someone who wants your help.
Perhaps most importantly…
6. Find the person standing alone.
A tactic I use is to strike up a conversation with someone else that looks alone at the event. I literally walk up to those people, introduce myself and say, “I hate standing alone at these events, and assume others prefer to not stand alone either, so I figured we can chat!” and then go into some openers.
Some examples of openers include:
* What brought you here?
* Do you know anyone? How did you meet?
* What are you working on?
* Were you hoping to find some resources at the event to move your project along?
They key here is to gently ask good questions that will get them talking. Chances are the other person will appreciate that you’re including them, and as a result be more willing to open up and have a conversation.
Our "Get Hired During The Holidays" eGuide contains the strategies you'll need to get an edge over your competition this holiday season. Don't put your job search on hold.
Right now is actually one of the BEST times to knuckle down, and find yourself a new position—even during challenging times!
Because most job seekers end up taking all (or most) of the holidays off thinking hiring is slow—and ANY jobs open in November and December typically really need to be filled ASAP or HR would put it off until January.
*So...urgent job openings + lower volume of candidates looking = JOB HIRING MAGIC!*
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