It’s hard to imagine that today’s the first day of December! It feels like the summer festivals were just yesterday.
The best part about this time of year for job seekers is networking.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is putting their job search on hold during December. We decide that companies aren’t hiring anyway and we shift 100% of our focus toward enjoying the holidays with family and loved ones.
Don’t get me wrong. Enjoying the holidays is a big priority! But, you can continue your search while you have fun.
This time of year, there are many holiday parties to attend. These events are a fantastic time to network. You’ll reconnect with old contacts and make new ones.
Before jumping onto the party circuit, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- RSVP: If a party requests an RSVP, be sure to put yours in. It shows respect to the host, and can help with planning. If you are nervous to go alone, request to bring a plus one. Most hosts don’t mind and it’s not hard to find a friend who would love to join you.
- Dress: Do your best to find out the dress code in advance. Jeans are appropriate at some events while others require fancy cocktail attire. If you aren’t sure what to wear, try selecting something that could be considered dressy or casual – like black pants and a simple shirt.
- Business Cards: Your networking efforts will be totally ineffective if you have no way to seal the deal. Bring your business cards, so you’re sure to get the contact information for those you meet. When you get home, follow up in e-mail and connect on LinkedIn.
- Don’t Be Shy: Networking is hard for most people. It’s not just you. If you feel nervous at events, set little goals for yourself, such as talking to 3 new people. Arrive on time and come prepared with simple questions to use as conversation starters like, “Do you have any fun plans this weekend?” The more you practice you have going to events, the easier it becomes.
- Drinking: Having a cocktail or two at a holiday party can be fun. But, be sure to keep the amount you’re drinking in check. You want to be able to put your best foot forward. And, you want to be able to drive home safely. Having a fresh DUI on your driving record could make landing your dream job much harder. If you do find yourself having a bit too much to drink, call a cab, Uber, or Lyft. It’s easy. And, the $50 for a ride home will save you many thousands in the legal fees you’d face for being arrested.
If you aren’t sure where to find the holiday parties this season, start by checking with the clubs or organizations you’re a member of. For those in Memphis, you can check with leadership organizations such as Leadership Memphis or New Memphis Institute.
No matter which parties you choose, I hope you have a wonderful time! Make lots of new connections and stay safe this holiday season.
Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher. Thanks.
Author: Angela Copeland
Angela Copeland is Founder and Coach for Copeland Coaching, a great way to jump start your job search. Follow her on Twitter @CopelandCoach for tips on finding the perfect job for you.