Skip to main content
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication › Public + Community Relations
International Association of Business Communicators, Canadian Public Relations Society
SFU Co-op Student

a group of colleagues sitting around the table talking to each other

We here at Career Services hope that everyone is studying hard for their final exams now that classes are officially over. Soon, those exams will be over too, and everyone will all breathe a collective sigh since now they get to enjoy a couple of weeks off from school to enjoy the holidays. Time flies and before you know it, you’ll be attending a lot of holiday parties, activities and social functions. Surprisingly, however, these holiday gatherings provide the perfect opportunity to be networking, building relationships, learning about diverse jobs, and starting career conversations that could assist you in getting a head start on your future career exploration and work search.

Whether it is a work party, family gathering, or just any get-together, the festive mood means that many will be in the mood to chit chat, so enjoy the conversations. These conversations involve interacting with others, where you may be looking for a job, a volunteer opportunity, or simply to add to your contact list. Often, the topic of work is talked about, so listen, be curious, and ask questions. One of the goals of these discussions is to simply gain an introduction or referral. However, be aware that the point of the conversation is not always about getting a job. Sometimes these conversations can help open your mind and introduce you to other careers that you may not have heard of before, and this can broaden your awareness when it comes to starting your own work-search. Ask questions that will help you gain ideas regarding a new experience or opportunity. Some questions to get the conversation going besides the ol’ “Do you have any plans for the holidays?” could be asking  “what do you do for a living?” or even “how did you get started in this industry?” This is then a perfect segue way to share your career-related goal, and ask them if they have any advice or input for you. Conversations are a two-way street, so this is where your networking and conversational skills come into play. Your perfected elevator speech, which frames your accomplishments and experiences, is a surefire way to get the other person’s attention and get them interested to ask you questions.

Remember to cultivate the relationship even after the holidays have ended. Always follow up and thank them for the insightful conversation you had at the holiday party regarding the current job market or the introduction he/she made with another person of interest.  In the end, even if you do not get an immediate job lead, the most important lesson that you can take away is the knowledge of learning about a particular career or topic, and a new person you have met that you can now add to your professional network.

International Association of Business Communicators, Canadian Public Relations Society
SFU Co-op Student
Mike Wong is an aspiring Public Relations Professional, interested in Crisis Communications and Content Strategy. Connect with Mike on Twitter.

You Might Like These... Networking, Professional Development

Peeriodical: Harness the Power of Networking at SFU

In today’s competitive job market, no matter what field or industry you are in, the key to discovering the hidden job market is through networking.  It’s all about “who knows you”.  Networking involves mutually connecting and building a relationship with others at a personal and professional level as sources of information and support.

Working on campus
The 10 Minute Commute – Resources and Useful Information for Working on Campus

Have you ever thought about working in a place that you are familiar with?  Perhaps a Tim Horton’s close by? For many students the idea of working at SFU might be a great option, if you prefer a 10 minute jaunt to work after class or an opportunity to learn more about how a university operates.

a flatlay of a person using an ipad to browse images
Can Blogging Help You Land a Job?

Some job seekers looking for possible ways to edge out competition are using weblogs (or blogs) to create and maintain a positive online presence. Blogging might help you land a job – but before you open a blog, we offer some information about blogging and a few tips on what you can do if blogging intimidates you.

You Might Like These... Work Term Extension

team of people working together on a project from a birds eye view
5 Reasons To Accept a Co-op Work Term Extension

Communication Co-op student Kit Crowe gives you 5 good reasons why you should accept that co-op work term extension. 

A pen over a paper with the Fraser Institute logo
Employer Feature: An Interview With The Fraser Institute's Senior Manager, Development Events

Meet Danielle Fleck, the Senior Manager of Development Events at Fraser Institute. In this quick Q&A, Danielle discusses the benefits of having an intern at the organization, the growth of the interns they hired and how the organization made the interns feel comfortable in their position.

a man writing notes
Bon Voyage: How To Ensure Smooth Sailing As You Wrap Up Your Co-op Work Term

With work terms winding down to a close, most co-op students can’t help but reminisce warmly about friends made, skills gained and career opportunities uncovered while on the job. During this time, it is important to take advantage of a few tips for smooth sailing as you wrap up your work term.