’Tis the Season…for Networking!

’Tis the season…for Networking! Considered by some to be a 4-letter word to be avoided at all cost becomes tough to do with company, club, association, and friend’s holiday parties happening on what seems to be every night during the month of December. But these aren’t your typical networking events and being professional while still having fun can be a challenge. Fast Company made a video about what not to do at the company holiday party a couple of years ago.

In a recent Blog post, I mentioned Networking as part of a blueprint to land your Perfect Job. While holiday parties are meant to be a celebration of the year’s progress it’s important to remember that your company or trade association party is a business event.

Here are 3 strategies to help make the month of December less stressful and an investment in your career.

1. Know who will be there

· The website or LinkedIn page of the organization normally has the names of employee’s and the Board of Director’s. Review peoples’ profiles before your outing.

· Have a business card or virtual way to pass along contact information.

· Know who was responsible for putting everything together and be sure to thank them before you leave the party.

2. Don’t talk solely about business

· Have 3 current events (that don’t involve religion or politics — important!) as conversation starters.

· Be gracious to others about their contributions for the year.

· If you are at a trade group and interested in getting involved, this is the perfect time to find out how and where you can help.

3. LISTEN

· Don’t monopolize conversations.

· When in a conversation, don’t look around for your next conversation. Be present in the moment and focus your attention on the person you are speaking with.

· Stay off your phone and don’t post to social media unless you are asked.

Like Jeffrey Gitomer says “All things being equal, people do business with people they like. All things being unequal, people do business with people they like.” That only happens over time.

Need help, visit www.careerdesigncoaching.com.