Using networking as a pro-active job search technique is a great way to source opportunities. Use this to reconnect and start having some good conversations about plans and goals for 2018.
Whilst networking, you can learn about job opportunities that you may not otherwise be aware of, receive advice and information from colleagues or contacts and ultimately be more informed about the job market you are searching in.
Everyone you know is potentially an important member of your network. Take the opportunity to attend Christmas parties, awards ceremonies or festive events, perhaps even organise your own. An invitation to an event can strengthen a connection even if the person is unable to attend, so manage your expectations. This way you will be able to approach people with a relaxed attitude, and enjoy the event with the intention to simply meet and reconnect with people. It’s also a good opportunity to build a new network, so think about who you want to talk to during these networking events. Prepare an elevator pitch that you have practiced so you have the opportunity to make a positive impression. Preparation is key, so think of some good questions to open a conversation ahead of the event.
Stay in touch
Once you have engaged with your network offer to connect with them on LinkedIn (keeping it professional) and make sure you keep in contact with them. Some professionals may have business cards so don’t be afraid to offer your business card or ask for theirs. Sending Christmas or E-cards with positive greetings saying you hope to catch up or cross paths in the New Year can be a great way to reconnect with your contacts. If you don’t know their postal address you can always send one to their office. Diarise to follow up and see how they’re getting on after Christmas to build and maintain that rapport and interest with the view to ascertain how you can support them in the New Year ahead.
Networking isn’t just about job hunting, it’s about finding contacts in a similar field or position, or with similar interests. It’s a two-way system, your advice or help might be needed too. If they are happy to agree to meeting you again in the New Year book a date in the diary now!
The festive period often seems like a good opportunity to wind down and stop searching, and many people decide to pick up the job search again in the New Year. However, for those of you who want to get a head start, use this time productively; be more pro-active and get yourself noticed whilst there is less competition out there and position yourself heading into 2018. Speak to recruiters and meet with them in person. If you have worked with them before, go and see them so they can think about you for future opportunities. Some recruiters and head-hunters will organise Christmas networking events with their clients (employers) so ask if they have any planned that you can attend.
If you are in a job use the company’s Christmas party or business gatherings to meet key stakeholders in the business. Focus on making new contacts within the organisation and take time to understand more about their role/function in the business so they remember you for future internal opportunities. The holiday season is a great time to take stock and re-evaluate your career, so take time to consider what you want to achieve in 2018 and who in your network can help you achieve your goals.
Renovo is one of the UK’s leading providers of outplacement and career transition support. We work with both organisations and individuals to support all their career transition requirements. If you would like to understand how Renovo can help you please call 0800 612 2011 or email email@example.com