With the holidays quickly approaching, you may find yourself getting invited to a variety of events. As a result, now is the perfect time to ramp up your holiday networking efforts! While some of your peers may be holding off on networking and job searching until the new year, connecting with others now can help you get a leg up on your competition come January. To get you on the right track, here are some quick tips to navigate your holiday networking efforts:
Take advantage of parties
Fun and festive holiday get-togethers typically draw a wide range of professionals, so they are a great way to forge relationships with new contacts. Just remember that attendees might not want to discuss work too extensively, so try to keep the conversation light and casual. First, spark up a conversation around getting to know the individual and use that introduction to lead into a couple of quick questions about their career. Read also: 4 Rules To Follow At Networking Events
Prepare good conversation starters
Unless you know everyone at the party, it’s important to be prepared with a few icebreakers for successful holiday networking. Though walking up to someone and confidently introducing yourself is a tried and true tactic, there may be times where this feels a little stiff. Some friendly questions to break the ice at your next party include:
- How do you know the host/hostess?
- Have you been to an event/party like this before?
- Who do you know at this event?
Bring business cards everywhere
Since it might not be appropriate to aggressively network at some events, it’s important to bring business cards everywhere this season. Offering business cards is a great way to exchange information with a new contact, so you can table your professional conversation for later.
Follow up promptly
If you’ve made a connection at a holiday networking event, it’s important to promptly reach out to ensure that you’ll be remembered. When following up with each individual you hope to build a professional relationship with, be sure to include how you met, a recap of your conversation, and a way for them to contact you. Read also: 5 Ways To Leave A Good Impression At Networking Events