It’s that time of year again, the holiday season! Besides focusing on all things holiday-related, there is something else you should be doing too – networking. Both parties for relatives and work are great places to meet people. Plus, the holidays are a perfect time to connect with former friends and colleagues.

While some people may believe the holidays aren’t a good time to network, there are too many gatherings between Thanksgiving and New Years Eve to not take advantage of them! According to the MIT Global Education & Career Development Center, approximately 60-80% jobs are found through networking. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get started!

Here are some ways to make the most out of this time of year:

Attend Parties And Events

Use your friends, family, and colleagues to go to as many functions as possible. Always remember when talking to people, don’t ask for a job. The conversation should be focused on the other person, but be open to suggestions and listen to what they are saying. Also, an essential networking tool is business cards. Don’t have any? (You really should…) Follow-up with the people you talked to by sending them an email or using social media.

Send Out Holiday Cards

A personalized way to reach out to people is by sending a holiday card. It doesn’t have to be anything special, just a simple handwritten note. Send these to people you have connected with in the past, or people you have just met. Either way, remember to thank them for their time.

Reach Out Through Social Media

Everything is going digital these days, and the holiday season shouldn’t be any different. Send personalized messages on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter in order to connect with people. It also proves you are going out of the way to wish them a happy holidays. Another thing to do is pay it forward. Send out information about networking parties and events to other people you are connected to through social media.

Network Effectively

You need to be taking action! Yet, it is important to not send out messages in mass quantities. Each note should be personalized and sincere. Networking is about making and maintaining.

How do you network? Is this a good idea during the holidays? Why or why not?

Heather Huhman

Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for organizations with products that target job seekers and/or employers. She is also the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships: The Truth About Getting from Classroom to Cubicle (2011), #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.

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