Tis the season for spending time with those you love and those you’ve never met. You’re meeting new friends, weird uncles and strangers on planes. Wait; wouldn’t this be the best time to increase your network’s reach? (The answer is yes!) By doing a few simple things, you will be ready to impress these new connections and not let them slip by.
First, put your feelers out right now. Tell your network you are looking for something new but be category specific. Your friends, family, old coworkers, old professors, hairdresser, anyone and everyone can help you if they know what you are looking for. You wouldn’t want them to cultivate a connection for you that isn’t what you want because that wastes their time, the contact’s time and your time. But think, your network is meeting new friends, weird uncles and strangers on planes too, aren’t they? (Scroll down for more of this article.)
Second, have some industry news in your pocket that you can discuss. What is going on in your field that is conversational? If you are switching positions or even careers, have current information on that new position or career and how you would like to be a part of the action.
Be positive about work. So often you hear people complaining about work over the holidays. By having an optimistic and upbeat tone you will set yourself apart as someone other people want to work with. Show your passion for what you do or what you’d like to do.
If you don’t already have a general (not company-specific) business card, then have your personal or non-work e-mail address and phone number pre-written on a stack of your work business cards. This will save you when you don’t have time to jot the information down for your new contact. If you have extra time with this person, also write where you met him and what type of job you’re looking for on the back of the business card. Always, always, get his contact information either from him directly or later from someone who knows him.
For the industry professionals that you have already met and you still crave to work with, drop off a holiday card at their office. If you don’t have the time, send a short “Happy Holidays” e-mail not asking for a job but rather letting them know you hope they enjoy the season.
In January, follow up with everyone you have met. Keep in mind that by cultivating these relationships you will not only build your network but also increase the probability of landing yourself a new job.
Did you know you could receive free e-mail alerts when Work-Life Examiner, Angela Martin, posts new articles? On your computer, simply click the blue “Subscribe to get instant updates” link at the top of the page near the Angela Martin’s photo. For mobile readers, click here and then click the orange “Subscribe” near Angela Martin’s photo.