Networking is an important tool for career advancement, yet many of us shy away from the task. Thankfully, the holidays provide an
easy easier segway into a more relaxed networking approach.
Here are three reasons you should take advantage of this opportunity:
Multiple opportunities to connect
With the holidays come many party invitations, and while it can be overwhelmingly busy, it’s a great time for less traditional forms of networking. Take advantage of connecting with work colleagues you don’t come across in your day-to-day, as well as key players at other companies that you could have the opportunity to meet at industry mixers.
Perhaps the most intimidating part about networking is moving past conversation starters about the weather to find common ground to begin a real conversation. Asking your coworkers or key players at other company events about plans for time off over the holidays is an easy way to get a conversation going. Many people have their guard down, and are relaxed and excited for upcoming time off.
Re-establishing old connections
Remember that great contact you made a few months ago, but have been too busy to get in touch with? December is a natural time to reconnect with a holiday message. Add in a suggestion for a catch up, and you can pick up the relationship where you left off.
If you’re planning on revamping your holiday plans to include strategic networking, there are still some common mistakes to be cautious of:
Limit your beverages
Yes, it’s a holiday party, but limit yourself to one or two drinks, even if it seems like everyone else is cutting loose. You might think of it as liquid courage, but keep this in mind: that important attendee you are trying to impress will know you are drunk before you do.
Especially if you get nervous, go in knowing who the key people are you want to talk to, and arm yourself with ideas for starting the conversation, and a goal of continuing the connection.
Remember, it’s a party
Perhaps the most important takeaway is this: remember that you’re still at a party. Many won’t want to discuss in depth their greatest win at work or their latest entrepreneurial success story. Try not to focus on these details. Instead, steer towards topics that create a relationship, opening the door for more interactions in the future.
Related: How to Network Strategically