Tips for Successful Holiday Job Searchin

Your head tells you, “No one is hiring.” I am here to tell you that it is not true. This is actually the time we get to have fun with this process!

The holidays can present many leads to pursue and an abundance of opportunities to expand your network.

Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, here are practices you can do to make job searching and holiday networking easier for you during this season:

(1) Networking is not only about attending events—use the phone.

Each day, call one friend and one former co-worker to whom you have not spoken with in a while and see how they are doing. Then let the conversation gravitate to what you are up to…naturally.

(2) Gravitate towards the positive people. Stay clear of the ‘bah-humbug’ crowd.

It is imperative to stay positive during the holidays. I am all for helping people with a pick-me-up. But if you feel someone is just a Debbie Downer who is going to bring you down with him/her, then find someone else to chat with, learn about and help. This is networking not therapy. Help someone who wants your help.

(3) When attending events, enter the event thinking, “Who can I help?” versus having the “Ugh, I don’t know anyone!” or “What are they going to think of me?” mindset.

You will appear more genuine and less stressed if you want to offer assistance than if you are feeling you have to fit in with the crowd.

(4) Do your homework before choosing to attend events.

Does it make sense for you to attend the event? If two events present itself, pick one and do it well. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Research who will be attending to evaluate how it can fulfill your personal or professional goals. Make sure attending serves a purpose for you—even if it is just to have fun.

(5) Not sure what to say or ask? Read “The Fine Art of Small Talk” by Debra Fine.

Choose 4-5 questions out of this book to help you get a conversation started. Or use it to create some of your own stand-bys. This will help reduce the awkward silences that can arise. Some of my favs that get things rolling:

a. How are you connected to this group? What brings you to the event?

b. What kind of day did you have today?

c. What do you enjoy most about what you do? What do you find most challenging?

d. Plans for the weekend? (then ask them how long they –or their children—have been engaged in that activity)

(6) Find a buddy to attend the event with you.

But do not spend the event chatting with each other. You can do that anytime. Plan to facilitate introductions for each other as you meet people throughout the event.

(7) Get there early whenever possible—easier to start conversations with the early crowd.

It can be a challenge to enter conversations already started if you are late.