The holidays bring excitement to many people because of the festive music, delicious food, and great company. So, have you ever thought of how the holidays can help your career? The hustle and bustle, holiday gatherings, and gift-giving are all aspects that can be applied to expanding your network or even get you a job for the new year.
Hustle and bustle
Most job seekers have a common misconception that job seeking during the holidays is not ideal because companies are busy with year-end paperwork and projects or people are away on vacation. However, what many don’t realize is that not all companies operate on a January to December fiscal year. Some businesses actually experience a lull during the holidays and use this time to do some recruitment and hiring for the new year. Many employers report that they have fewer applications during the holiday season. Therefore, use this information tidbit as an opportunity to get personally noticed and improve your chances of landing a job!
December is a month filled with social activities. You may be attending a charity event, family gathering, or any type of holiday party with your colleagues, friends, or acquaintances. Have you ever thought of these gatherings as networking opportunities? Work parties offer you a chance to get to know managers and co-workers that you do not get to talk to on a regular basis. Talking to managers will give you a better understanding of company operations, but these directors also have the power to refer you to other opportunities within the company. A manager may like your work ethic or interpersonal skills and offer you to take on a small project.
Talking to co-workers at holiday gatherings can allow for better working relationships. Learning more about your co-workers may make you feel more comfortable approaching them with questions, asking them for help, or collaborating with them on a project in the future.
Remember, networking doesn’t only happen at professional events, but in casual settings with your family and friends as well. For example, you can ask your cousin more about his or her job, the company and the work environment because these might be things that you would be interested in pursuing. Your friends are also a great resource because they can provide you with contact leads and tips on how to network.
At work, you can make a memorable impression in your office by giving small gifts to each person. Whether or not you have spoken to every single person, giving a gift to everyone is inclusive, shows appreciation to the people that have helped you, and it may open up a conversation to the people that you have not spoken to. Some ideas for small gifts are candy canes, chocolates, or holiday cards. If you do not have time for individual gifts, you can also bring in baked goods for your co-workers and place it in your staff lounge or kitchen.
You can also use gift-giving as a way to re-connect with your network. This can be as simple as sending each contact a holiday card or e-card, informing them of what you have been up to since your last chat and perhaps inviting them out for coffee some time. Maintaining your network connections is just as important as establishing them. Some of the people you may want to re-connect with are people you have used as references, past employers and co-workers, people that introduced you to their connections, mentors, and anyone else that has given you support or advice.
It is important to always have your career in mind at all times, but of course, it is also important to spend time with family and friends over the holidays. Don’t forget to also use this time to re-charge for the new year. Happy holidays from Career Services