Today I attended the CIT networking event. I sat in on a discussion led by Marty Latman (career coach and consultant) about networking.
He said that there are several reasons why it's good to keep networking during the holidays. I've also added a few that I've heard before.
- People want to talk and get together at this time of the year.
- People are generous at this time of the year.
- You can usually find higher level people at their offices. Since many people are out, it's easier to get in touch with higher level people. The "gate keepers" are out on holiday.
- You usually find people have more time. People are not as busy at work.
- You have less "competition" because many people are not thinking about networking at this time of the year.
Here are some of the tips that he mentioned (and some related ones I've heard before). I've numbered them so you can refer to them, but these are not in any particular order.
- The holidays are a good time to rejuvinate your network. Reach out to someone you haven't spoken to in a while. Wish them a Happy Holiday and ask to get together to reconnect.
- Send out holiday greetings: mail, email, ecards - This gets you back on people's minds. They will be happy that you are thinking of them.
- Call people on the phone and catch up on things
- If someone looks at your linkedin profile, send them a message telling them you saw that they viewed your profile and ask if there is anything you can help them with.
- If someone connects, send them a message to welcome them and ask them why and if there is anything you can do to help them.
- Look at your resume and write down the names of people you worked with. Then, try to contact them.
- When you ask someone for help, ask for something that they can be successful at. Don't just ask them for a job or work or to sign up for your services. Ask them for something they can be successful at, like giving you a reference, some information, or advice. Then, they can feel good that they helped you. Be very specific too! Don't just say I am looking for work. What type of work? Or, if you want a contact, tell what type of contact.
- People who you wouldn't think would help you (sometimes people you didn't know), might be the ones who help you the most. And, sometimes those who you think would help, don't help you. And, then there are those who are just "takers." They may never want to help you, just take from you. If they ever ask for help, you can decide if you will help them or not. No one is obligated to help anyone. If someone doesn't want to help you, just move on.
- Be clear, concise and brief in your elevator speech so people know exactly what you need.
- Don't just rely on linkedin. You can also do a google search on people
- Google search yourself too! This way you'll know what people might find out about you and you'll be ready to answer them if they ask you about something they saw.
(note: this article is also cross-posted in LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/value-networking-during-holidays-henry-will-iv-pmp/ )