Seasonal Networking Success: Why Connecting During the Holidays Pays Off
It’s the most wonderful time of the year for a reason, and you have the opportunity to make wonderfully valuable connections this season!
As the year draws to a close, it's tempting to let our professional obligations take a backseat to family, friends, last-minute studying and the mental reset we all try to achieve. However, what most don’t consider is the opportunity to use the holiday “downtime” to strengthen your professional network and set yourself up for greater success in the new year. So, pour yourself a cup of hot cocoa and pull up your LinkedIn, because you’re not quite finished with what can be accomplished before the 31st!
Less job competition: Many job seekers take a break from their search during the holiday season, which means there may be fewer applicants for available positions. With a smaller pool of candidates, you may have a higher chance of standing out and securing an interview.
Increased hiring needs: Some businesses experience a surge in staffing needs during the holiday season due to increased customer demand or year-end budgets. This can lead to more job openings and more opportunities for job seekers. Keep an eye out!
Unique opportunities: Holiday parties and events provide excellent networking opportunities. Take advantage of these social occasions to connect with professionals in your desired industry. Building relationships during this time can lead to prospects and referrals in the future.
Reflective and goal-oriented employers: As the year ends, many employers reflect on the past year while goal setting for the year ahead. This mindset can result in a more focused and intentional hiring process, with employers actively seeking candidates to fill specific roles to fulfill future plans.
Tips for Networking During the Holidays
Now that we've covered the advantages of job searching during the holidays, let's explore some practical tips to make the most out of your networking efforts:
Attend Campus Events: Make a list of events, parties and gatherings that you can attend. This can include everything from professional events to casual gatherings hosted by friends or colleagues. Remember to bring business cards and be prepared to introduce yourself to your new connections!
Wondering how to find networking events near you during this time of year? Herzing is here to help. From virtual meetups to industry-specific gatherings, it’s just a matter of putting yourself out there. Attend events with an open mind, and you might just find the perfect connection to bring your career to new heights.
Utilize Online Platforms: In addition to attending in-person events, make use of social media platforms like LinkedIn to expand your network. Connect with professionals in your field, join industry-specific groups and participate in relevant discussions. Engage with other posts by sharing insights and helping where you can. Establishing your online presence and actively contributing to the conversation can help you make valuable connections within your field.
Strengthen Your Existing Network: The holiday season is a great time to reach out to former colleagues, classmates or mentors. Send personalized messages expressing your wishes for the holiday season and inquire about any potential job opportunities or referrals they may have. Maintaining and nurturing relationships with your existing network can often lead to unforeseen job prospects.
Volunteer: Giving back to the community not only feels good, but it can also provide great networking opportunities. Look for local organizations or non-profits that align with your interests and values. By volunteering, you'll not only make a difference but also have the chance to connect with professionals who share similar passions. Engaging in meaningful work together can build strong connections that may lead to future professional opportunities.
Always Follow Up: After attending events or connecting with professionals, make sure to follow up in a timely and professional manner. Send thank-you notes or emails expressing your appreciation for the opportunity to connect. If you discussed specific job leads, follow up with a personalized message expressing your interest. This sends a strong message about your personal and professional character.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year for a reason, and you have the opportunity to make wonderfully valuable connections this season! Take advantage of this time and amp up your networking efforts to ensure that next year is your best year yet.
* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2022. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.