Holiday Parties: The Unsung Networking Opportunity

14 Dec 2017


Celebrate and make merry - but don't miss out on one of the best networking opportunities of the year.

The holiday season means a lot of different things to people – time off, family gatherings, too much shopping, and nearly daily social and networking events. For many, the holiday lunches and gala dinners begin to blur together as December wears on … but for the smart few, they’re a key opportunity to make connections and pursue fresh starts for the new year.

Put down the eggnog and gingerbread for a moment and consider the reasons that you should look at all of these holiday season gatherings as the perfect chance to find that new role and advance your career.

New Connections

Consider all of the holiday events you attend in December. Almost all of these present you with the opportunity to meet new people and make fresh connections. Friends of friends, colleagues of business contacts – every individual you encounter has a wealth of professional relationships that are brand new to you.

Less Pressure

Social gatherings are much less stressful for most of us than a formal job interview. These events present an opportunity to connect in person with people you may not otherwise see throughout the year. Opt to decline that third glass of wine and focus instead on having meaningful conversations with as many people as possible, ensuring that you leave each of them with something memorable about yourself.

Lots Of Jobs

We often hear it said that “Oh, no one’s hiring in December” … but is this actually true? Most business insiders will tell you it’s not. Generally speaking, the same number of positions are open at the end of year as in the Spring or Fall. Often an organization will have its budget for the coming year set by mid-December and HR professionals will know exactly what their hiring needs are. If you make a good impression now, there’s a good chance you’ll be kept in mind when they hit the ground running in January.

Even More Jobs

No one likes making New Years Resolutions but we all know that we do it. For many people, finding a new role tops that list of resolutions as every new year begins. These people will have begun or completed their job search already and many will have given notice in late November or early December, allowing themselves an extra long holiday break before starting a new role in January. The more networking you do this month, the more of these opportunities you’ll hear about!

We’re (Mostly) In A Good Mood

Yes, December can be a highly stressful month for a lot of people … but these holiday gatherings are usually a time to ease up a bit and enjoy the season. Again, the opportunity is there for you to make a good first impression on a business owner, manager or HR professional who’s enjoying some time away from the pile of CVs sitting on their desk. Don’t take up someone’s entire lunch talking about yourself and your career goals … have appropriately timed, concise but memorable conversations and leave your new contacts smiling.

TIP: When you’re heading out to the daily lunches and seasonal parties, make sure you have a few “personal contact” cards in your pocket. These should include your name, direct phone number, LinkedIn profile and personal email address. You can also include a quick line about the types of roles you’re seeking or your professional interests.

Enjoy the holiday gatherings – don’t make them all about job seeking and career advancement – but don’t overlook the opportunity to make and develop new, meaningful connections!