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3 Tips for Networking During the Holidays

September 29, 2023

The holidays are perhaps the busiest time of the year.

Year-end deadlines, vacations and shopping are at an all-time high. While the holiday season can be overwhelming, now isn’t the time to stop momentum on nurturing relationships with your professional network for the job search.

Here are some ways to network effectively this holiday season:

Be intentional during holiday network events

Holiday events are rampant from November to December as companies and groups come together to spread holiday cheer. Even with the pandemic, virtual holidays events are on the rise.

If the job search is your priority, these occasions are a great opportunity to network and build meaningful connections with other professionals to get one step closer to the job you want. Whether it’s a holiday team-building event or networking gathering, holiday parties are perfect icebreakers to connect with other professionals.

With that said, it’s always in your best interest to come to these events prepared. Now is the time to identify individuals you want to connect with. Is there someone at a company or department where you want to work that you would love to talk to?Who would be a wonderful connection to make to learn more about a team or company? You can also develop questions you want to ask beforehand to help dialogue go smoothly.

It’s also important to remember that holiday events aren’t always all business talk. Be sure to relax, have fun and build authentic human connections. Ask questions about holiday plans, current events and things that would allow you to get to know a connection personally. The deeper human connection you make, the better off you are in building connections for your job search needs.

Be thoughtful and creative with holiday cards

Networking is a strategic, long-term game. Building and nurturing relationships requires work, commitment and thoughtfulness.

The holiday season is perhaps one of the best times to nurture connections by sending thoughtful holiday cards without the anxiety of not coming across as inauthentic.

There’s an undeniable warm sentiment around the holidays and you should use the inviting atmosphere to your benefit to create or reinvigorate dialogue between you and a connection.

You can use holiday cards as an opportunity to send thoughtful notes to members of your network. The content of your card can include holiday greetings or a show of appreciation for someone. However, it should always be personalized and tailored to each individual to make a lasting impression. The last thing anyone wants is a generic message that can be mass sent to everyone.

When crafting a holiday message, it is critical that you are mindful that the holiday season is full of many cultural holidays. To be inclusive, it’s always best practice to stick with “Happy Holidays” versus specific religious messaging like “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Hanukkah.” We live in a multicultural society, and everyone should feel included even when it comes to holiday greetings.

Be patient and productive

Often, job seekers experience impatience during the holiday season especially when looking for responses from connections.

To ease your own anxieties, you should manage expectations for yourself when it comes to speed of correspondence during this time. Many people are vacationing, spending time with family or even wrapping up work for end-of-year deadlines.

It’s not abnormal to hear back from someone after a longer length of time or even after the holidays during this season. If you don’t get a timely response, don’t freak out. Instead, follow up after the new year.

While you wait for responses or to follow-up, they’re are plenty of other things you can do to further your networking efforts.

Here are some activities you can do ramp up your professional networking:

  • Make a list of the people you want to connect with next
  • Update your LinkedIn profile
  • Revamp your resume
  • Create and plan for next year’s networking goals

All in all, the holiday season is a fantastic time to meet new people, build meaningful connections and revitalize your networking goals. Whatever opportunity you’re presented with, be sure to always be intentional, thoughtful and patient. Putting in ample effort into networking will always produce positive results in your job search.

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