The holidays are normally a time to enjoy the company of friends and family, but this also the time to reflect on your life and what you’ve accomplished. While celebrating the season, it is a good idea to look to the future and think about what you hope to achieve in your life, as well as your career. Office holidays provide the perfect opportunity to network and move your career forward.
Office Holidays and Networking
Networking is one of the most productive ways to advance your career as a large percentage of new hires come through referrals received from a company’s existing employees. Office holidays and other social gatherings provide you an opportunity to network with colleagues and meet new people.
Although it is true that some companies put all hiring decisions on hold during December, this isn’t true in all cases. There will still be a lot of networking and scouting happening. That is because after the beginning of the new year, headhunters will have a good idea who they’ll be calling with a job offer.
Tips For Office Holidays Networking
Networking is an art that helps you stand out from the competition even before you start vouching for the same thing. A network of contacts are able to alert you to openings that are about to happen and the best case scenario is being advised of a opening before it is advertised.
Networking should not be seen as singular - but a part of the whole career advancement plan. Follow these tips in order to learn how to network effectively during office parties:
Business cards are a must
If you want to make the most out of your opportunity to network, hand out business cards but not to just anyone and everyone. When you hand out your business cards to everyone in the room, it not only appears unprofessional, it is likely to irritate those who might otherwise turn out to be great allies. Take time to have conversations, and before ending that conversation, suggest that you would like to continue it later too. If you get a positive reaction, this is the time to hand them a business card.
Approach others confidently
Take an interest in others by introducing yourself. Once you have made that first contact, always follow up with more questions about their background or profession.
Be a good listener
Participate in the conversation. Listen to what the other person has to say and give them your full attention. It’s extremely tacky to be in conversation with someone while scanning the room in search of someone else to talk to.
Engage, but don’t monopolize
It is important to meet others and engage in good conversation but you don’t want to overdo it. Understand that the person you are talking with may want to socialize with others. It is important to know when it’s time to end the conversation and search for someone else to socialize with.
Don’t be afraid to reconnect
You can do this through social media or send a holiday card to their office. If your new acquaintance seems interested, ask if you can add them to your social network lists. No matter how you follow up, make sure you do it. Building a relationship with new connections is important. You want them to remember you when it comes time to hire new employees.
Office holidays often feature massive amounts of alcohol. If you drink too much it’s possible you won’t come off as professional. The last thing you want to do is leave your new acquaintances with a bad impression. It is extremely important that you stay focused.
December is a slow month for job hunters but that doesn’t mean you should put your efforts on hold when it comes to advancing your career. If you take advantage of office holidays and parties as a way to network and meet new people. Stay cheerful and you’ll find the job you’re searching for.