Networking at Holiday Parties

Networking at holiday parties

Image by leyla.a via Flickr

The Holidays are upon us!  Should you be networking at holiday parties?

We are all busy both giving and going to parties, shopping, wrapping, reconnecting with people we have not connected with since last year.  Is now the time to do some job search networking at holiday parties?

Of course!  This is a great time to extend your network to include all those people you have not seen for a year, only meet at your friend’s annual party, etc.

But how?

Of course you need a plan.

If you have followed this blog for any time at all, you know that you need to know what you want.  The next step is to find out who works at the companies you would like to be employed by and if that company should stay on your top ten list.  And parties are a great place to work on that!

Where are you in your job search?

Networking is…

Networking is where you give something that does not cost you much. Give your attention and focus and interest over drinks at your friend’s party to get what you value – insight into a company that you are interested in.

So step up to that new person and find out where they work and what they do.  Give them the gift of actually being interested.

If they work at one of the companies you have already determined to be of interest to you, get their take on how the company is doing, what the company is doing, what they think will happen next for that company.

Ask about their job, what they like, what they don’t like.  When they ask you why you are asking (if they do!), tell them that you think that company has a very interesting (whatever you have discovered in your earlier research into that company) and that you are excited to know more.

What is targeted networking?

But what if they don’t even work in my industry?

If the person you are talking with does not work at one of the companies you are interested in, then you should still give them the gift of your attention.  Ask if they know anyone who works at one or two of the companies you are interested in.  Ask them what they know about the company.  Have a conversation!! Make a friend!! Trade business cards, if that will work, but even more important is to take some notes when you are finished talking. Follow-up with an email later, thanking them for taking the time to talk with you!

Add them to your network!  Send them a Holiday card!

What are you doing over the Holidays?

Need some help with this? Schedule a coaching session here.

Winter Holiday Networking

The Holidays are coming quickly.

Holiday parties

Even if you are hip deep in a job search you will probably take time off for the big meals and parties that come every year at this time.

How can you “leverage” those events for your job search?

A couple of DON’Ts:
Don’t take your generic resume with you to the events.
Don’t spam the people there with your 30 second “elevator speech”.
Don’t expect anyone to hire you at the event.

Do plan what you will say when someone you don’t know well asks you what you do. It is perhaps the most common question. Practice something like: “I help (this kind of company) do/make/discover/(whatever your key action verb is) (whatever your key noun is/drugs/medical devices/etc.). What do you do?”

Focus on the other person and if it seems that they really might know someone in your niche, be sure to get their contact information for later. But mostly find out if the two of you have something in common, even if it is just your host.

For your relatives and close friends, stress that you have a plan and are working it. You can ask them if they know anyone who works at up to three of your preferred companies if you don’t have a connection there. Don’t expect them to really understand what you do and watch out for the eyes glazing over and stop if they do!!

If you are at a holiday business party for an organization you belong to, see that paragraph above. If you are at your current company’s holiday party and if you are careful, you can ask if they know people at certain companies.

Don’t try to do in-depth networking at a party.

Do talk to the person who is not talking with anyone else, be kind!

Have a wonderful time!

Want to talk about your search? For a short complimentary job search strategy call, book here

The Wall of the Holidays

--- January 2007 ---

— January 2007 — (Photo credit: Live And Basic)

Do you toss projects and “to-dos” over the wall of the holidays only to find them scattered about in January?  I have certainly done this!  So now I am walking around, nudging the splattered bits with the toe of my shoe and trying to decide if and when I should gather them up and actually do them.  It is one way of prioritizing….  Probably not the best.

January is a renewal month – a time to review what worked (or didn’t) last year and start fresh.  How did your job search go last year?  Which things that you did brought the most interviews?

I’m assuming that if your interviews worked, you have a new job and are not now reading this, unless, of course, you took a job that did not turn out to be a good fit or you are one of the elite who knows that all jobs are temp jobs these days.

Please comment with what has worked or shows promise!


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