BALTIMORE - A lot of people think this time of year is the hardest time to find a job. Hang on, though. If you are thinking the job search takes a holiday break, think again!
Wednesday on Good Morning Maryland @ 9's "Get Back 2 Work" series, career expert Joni Daniels offered her advice: go and network at holiday parties.
Daniels talked about why being at parties is better then looking for jobs on your computer. The fact you can talk with people and have them learn about you while you also learn about them and their businesses can be more valuable when trying to find your next job (or get back to work).
To learn more about what Joni has to say, click on the video box to the left of this article. We have also provided Joni's tips below:
How to Network Through the Holidays
Who says the job search takes a holiday? Make the most of holiday parties to expand your professional network. Meeting people is a year-round activity.
1. Go – The holidays are NOT the time to sit in front of your computer. Accept the invitations that you get and go out and mingle with people. Leave your home office and go ‘press the flesh’ – you never know who you might meet.
2. Be Prepared – Every holiday party or event is not part of the job search BUT every party or event IS an opportunity to expand your network. Go prepared with an attitude of giving, a commitment to meet new people, and your business cards/contact information. Be concise and tell people what you do/want to do/used to do.
3. Ask – This is not the time to sell yourself or your experience. This is the time to ask others about their interests, goals, and needs. Find out if there are ways you can support their efforts. After the holidays, you can follow up with some ideas about how you can assist them.
4. Tis the Season – This is the season for gift giving so leave people with a present. Whether it’s a piece of advice, a resource they didn’t know about, a referral, or an article they might find useful, think about ways you can give.
5. Be Upbeat – Have a positive attitude about the opportunity you have to meet people at the party who might be a welcome addition to your network and focus on the opportunities that lie ahead in the coming year. Even if this last year has been tough and the holidays will be a financial challenge for you, it’s a holiday party, not a pity party.
6. Meet and Greet – If you have a tough time initiating conversations with people you don’t know, ask the host to introduce you to one or two new people. Focus on them, make them feel valued and important by giving them your full attention (turn off the cell phone).
7. Be Helpful – Ask people what challenges they face during the holiday season and if it makes sense, offer solutions that have worked for you. People will see that you are not only listening, but have ideas that are useful.
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