5 Reasons Why December ‘Tis The Season to Network
Sticking around town this holiday season? ‘Tis the season for networking! Here’s a few reasons why you should be meeting new people and reaching out to your existing network this December.
PEOPLE HAVE MORE FREE TIME
Offices can get pretty slow as people start to leave for the holidays and take their vacation days. Take advantage of the free time by meeting someone new for coffee to learn about their careers or discuss possible projects. Ask someone from another department to lunch or find someone new to meet on Shapr. The holidays are usually a happy time for people as they are more relaxed, friendly, and feeling the holiday cheer! It’s a great time to catch people in a good mood to ask for their advice or see how you can possibly help them with their goals.
THERE IS LESS COMPETITION
Some people take the holidays off from networking or job searching. This will give you an opportunity to stand out and get your foot in the door. If you are considering creating new relationships, it makes sense to meet new people when they are not being bombarded by coffee requests. If you get the chance to take someone to coffee who works at a company you admire, use the time to learn more about company culture. Ask what projects that person is most proud of from the last year, and what the team is looking to accomplish in 2017.
PEOPLE ARE THINKING ABOUT THE YEAR AHEAD
Most organizations are anticipating the next year’s needs. They want to start January off strong and a December coffee might be a great opportunity to catch them at an exciting time and find out what’s coming up. A lot of organizations also have seasonal projects they are working on. A temporary opportunity may turn into a full-time job or lead you to meeting mentors or career connections that can help you in the future. Be curious, ask questions, and find out if there are opportunities to help out in December.
THE HOLIDAYS MAKE A GREAT EXCUSE TO CATCH UP
Sending a holiday greeting to your contacts is a good way to show that you value that connection. The action will be appreciated and will leave a door open for them to reach back out to you. It can be as simple as sending an email, or maybe even a holiday card. Sending a short but sincere message to your network can make a big difference. Here’s a brief example of an email you could write:
To someone you met over coffee once or twice —
I hope you have a happy and festive holiday season! It was great meeting you this year. I particularly enjoyed our conversation about [specific topic]. I wish you the best for the upcoming year and hope to stay in touch!
To someone you worked with on a project —
I hope you have a happy and festive holiday season! It was great working with you this year on [project]. One thing I learned from that project was [specific thing] and I look forward to applying that in the future. I wish you the best for the new year and hope we have the chance to work together again soon!
DECEMBER BRINGS FUN NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES
Ask a friend working at a cool company to bring you along to his or her office holiday party and use that opportunity to casually meet a few people at that organization. Also be open to December volunteer opportunities! There are tons of ways to help out this season from volunteering at a Food Bank to putting in a few hours at an animal shelter. Use Shapr to meet someone who shares your interest for #animals or #charity, and sign up together for a few hours. Volunteering is the perfect holiday networking opportunity — you will likely get to know people that work in several different fields and also feel good about the time you spend helping out this holiday season.
Wishing you a happy and busy December!