Networking Through the Holidays!

As the holiday season approaches and businesses “close up shop” for a couple of days, many employers may postpone their hiring process until after the first of the year.  This temporary freeze in progress can be extremely frustrating, especially for those who spend every free minute searching, applying, calling, faxing, e-mailing, and worrying for the next job (and…um…paycheck!).  Even though HR offices may halt progress, doesn’t mean job-seekers necessarily should.  Read on for tips on how to make the most of your precious time and to network during this holiday season.

Going to any holiday parties, anyone?  If so, then you have a prime opportunity to meet and mingle with acquaintances and others you don’t know so well.  Take advantage of this by eliciting similar interests out of those you correspond with.  After you feel comfortable enough in the conversation, causally mention that you are looking for employment and would welcome any suggestions.  The other person may probe you for more information or may introduce to another, to which then you can speak more about what you are looking for and your related work experience. 

It wouldn’t hurt to have business cards available just in case someone asks for your contact information.  Websites such as offer a variety of attractive business cards for almost every type of business or company.  Be sure that the card and your e-mail address reflect your professionalism. 

Not invited to the party of choice?  Find a friend or acquaintance that is going and then drop subtle hints; for example, “I’ll love to go to that party” or “I wonder if [Joe] is going, I’d love to talk to him.”  You just might get the extended invitation that you are seeking; and if you do, re-read the above paragraphs.  Best of luck and happy networking!