Tis the season … Now is the time of the year when you will receive invites to holiday parties. Whether we enjoy holiday events or not, there is no question that these events offer opportunities to meet new people and grow your professional network. Listed below are some tips to help you successfully network through the season!
Reach Out. Sending holiday cards is a great way to stay connected to your current professional network. Identify your “top 100” and send a card with a short personalized note.
Go To Holiday Events. Arriving to a holiday event might be the hardest part. Sure, you would rather be at home on your couch binge watching holiday movies, but holiday office events can lead to opportunities. These events are the perfect time to rekindle old friendships and build new ones. Besides, why wouldn’t you want to go and enjoy food and friends, while growing your professional network?
Introduce Yourself. Holiday events offer great opportunities to meet new people and expand your professional network. Make a goal to try and meet at least two people each event this season. Keep in mind that spouses and children may be there too, so do not be shy to reach out to them too. You never know how helpful that could be.
Listen More. Think of substantial questions to ask people before the event. Ask questions that allow you to learn about them and how you could advance your career. For example, people enjoy talking about themselves, ask, “What do you enjoy most about your current role?” Listening more can help build and establish relationships, as well as avoiding talking too much.
Reduce Office Talk. If possible, at office holiday gatherings, keep “office talk” to a minimum. It is okay to have some conversations, but try and get to know people for who they are outside of work. Possibly ask about their families and interests. You could uncover commonalties and gain new friends.
Remember to Follow Up. After holiday festivities, be sure to send a “nice to meet you” email to those you met. Possibly attach an interesting article or video in the email that pertains to something you discussed. Then think of ways to see them again in person.
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