Photo Credit Rob Nguyen
The holidays are fast approaching, and for most job seekers this brings a host of anxieties. People mistakenly believe that employers stop hiring because everyone is on vacation, or because everything will be pushed to the new year. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Whether you celebrate the holidays or not, this is the most wonderful time of the year to network and, perhaps, secure a hidden gem of a job.
• Say ‘yes’ when invited to holiday gatherings, parties, or open houses. Seasonal festivities have a lighter mood to them, and present you with a fantastic opportunity to talk with people in a more relaxed environment. Rather than focus on the negative (“I’m out of work”) focus on the positive when you are meeting someone new (“I’m exploring opportunities in X”). You don’t want to kill their holiday buzz, and nothing will do that faster than being negative.
• Request informational interviews. Whether you are meeting new people at parties or using LinkedIn or other means, this is a great time of year for networking. The holidays create a climate of reflection (that’s why this is the big time of year for charitable organizations), and people are more likely to say yes to helping someone else during the season. Whether it’s phone, Skype, email or in person, make as many networking appointments as you can to get a head start on the new year.
• Send seasonal greetings. I don’t mean buy expensive holiday card packs. You can, if that’s your thing, but it isn’t necessary. A few years ago, one of my LinkedIn contacts sent a nice, generic season’s greetings message to everyone in his network. It was brilliant, and something that I have ‘borrowed’ ever since. It keeps you on people’s radars, and you’ll get some responses back, which will increase traffic on your profile.
• Do something nice for someone else. This is a great time of year to give back, and not just with money. Volunteer some time to a local organization. You’ll meet more people, and you might just find a lift in your mood that helps you feel reenergized.