It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… Everywhere you go…
The holidays are right around the corner and are filled with events to reconnect with your core network (family, friends and community). During this time of year people are in the spirit of giving, so use this opportunity to network, network, network! Here are some tips to help you grow your network this season
1. Be Present
Eighty percent of jobs come from networking. Yes, it really helps to know someone. The more you put yourself in the place of opportunity, the more opportunities will come your way. Rather than avoiding this year’s neighborhood party, attend and practice talking to others about what type of opportunities you are seeking. Stand up straight, smile, and say: “I am passionate about ____ and am looking to pursue
opportunities in ___.”
2. The Christmas Star
I get it, I know you are not a tree topper. However, many times when at these holiday gatherings you are under the spotlight of friends, family and neighbors who have not seen YOU in a while. They want to know about you. Prior to these get-togethers, connect with your close family and friends and ask them, “If I were to win an award, what would it be for?” These strengths and skills are part of your personal brand (what makes you, you!). Make an effort to speak about them.
3. Fa la la.. la la la… I Just Don’t Know!
Holiday parties are filled with the cheerful chat of reunion or the dreadful dodging of 1,000 questions from your wacky aunt. If someone asks you what you want to do with your future and you genuinely do not know, say “I am thinking about a career in ____, but first I need an internship to gain some hands-on experience. Do you know anyone in that industry?”
4. The Gift Exchange
Networking is all about a relationship focused on giving back and receiving.
Lucky for you, you are a college student and you have a secret card… the college card. Everyone wants to help a student – especially your core network (family and community members). Your “gift” to these individuals is your gratitude. When professionals feel like they have helped a student, it makes them feel wonderful. Make sure to ask questions geared towards the individual. “When did you know you wanted to pursue a career in ___?” “What was your first job out of college?”
5. Tying the Bow
Rather than ending your conversations with “Bye! Have a Merry Christmas,” tie the bow and seal the deal. Every conversation that has the potential to be a great connection or opportunity must have a call to action to move forward. Say, “I liked connecting today and would like to stay in touch. Here is my card, do you have yours?”Or, “I know you mentioned you know someone who works at ___; would you be open to introducing us via email?”