Things to Do During the Holidays
By Eilidh Sligo.
Just like diets and exercise regimes, a job search can become an afterthought as soon as the holidays hit. Many job seekers are guilty of thinking “I’ll start again in the new year,” not realizing that they are missing out on numerous potentially valuable opportunities: holiday parties.
As Career Professionals, we regularly tell clients of the importance of networking in a job search. With statistics showing that up to 80% of jobs are not advertised, our clients need to build and develop working relationships to increase their chances of being referred to these “hidden” positions.
Networking doesn’t have to take place at hiring fairs or industry specific events; it can be done anywhere that our clients can talk to other people. With the typical increase in socializing over the holidays, our clients should be encouraged not to forget their job search when they attend seasonal parties.
Of course, at parties people typically want to have fun and you don’t want your client to be the person who keeps trying to talk business! This is why it’s important to remind our clients that networking isn’t about asking for a job; it’s about developing mutually trusting, respectful, and professionally friendly relationships. While you don’t want to be a “work bore,” there is nothing wrong with asking people about what they do and checking if it would be possible to follow-up with them at a later date.
Here are some dos and don’ts for networking at holiday parties:
- Do enjoy yourself! Just because you are ready to take advantage of potential opportunities doesn’t mean that you can’t have a great time.
- Don’t bring your resume. Remember that you are at a social event, not a hiring fair. If someone wants to find out more about what you have done, follow up with an email the next day.
- Do take your business cards with you. After a short work-based conversation you can easily exchange contact details, agree to chat at a later date, and get back to enjoying the party.
- Don’t over indulge in the eggnog! If you make a valuable connection, you want to remember it…and you definitely don’t want to be remembered as the one who got tipsy and asked for a job.
- Do follow up. Even though everyone is busy over the holidays, if you make a great connection send an email within 24 hours and let them know that you will re-connect in the New Year.
- Don’t let it stress you out. If you feel that you need a break from being in “job search mode” for an evening, take it!
By not putting off all job search activities until the new year, our clients will set themselves up to start 2017 with valuable contacts and scheduled networking conversations.