Let’s talk first about the “Do’s,” the right things to do during holiday gatherings that improve your brand and build your network:
- Attend holiday gatherings. I know, you’ve been invited to so many and it can get a bit overwhelming. I encourage you to participate and take an active role.
- Be professional. You never know who will be at the event. Work events included. The spouse or significant other of a coworker could be a key connection for you later on. Many of my clients have gotten hired over the holidays.
- Take online networks offline. It’s the holidays, just because business may have slowed down, networking doesn’t have to. Good chance your online network has time for a coffee or lunch.
- Take time to call a friend and other connections in your network. If your friend doesn’t have time for lunch, make time for a brief call. With the recent hurricane and other events, it’s important to stay in touch and strengthen your ties. These events affect globally, not just locally.
- Develop and practice your networking sound bite before heading to a party or other holiday event.
- LISTEN. Listen to the conversations and identify areas where you can help. You’ve got to fuel your network to fire it up!™
- Follow up with whatever you promised.
- Connect via the appropriate social network(s). LinkedIn is terrific in that it provides regular updates right to your inbox, so you can quickly follow up with a congratulations note or related email.
Networking is all about building and maintaining relationships, not about making the instant sale or begging for a job. Build the relationship first. It will lead to the rest. Networking this way will have a positive effect on your brand and propel your career.
Have you got a holiday networking story to share? Tell us! And get the chance to win my book, “Rock Your Network®.”I look forward to hearing from you!