If you’re looking to make a career change or return from a career break, the festive season can seem like a chaotic time. As women, we are often preparing so many things for the holidays while juggling our careers and it may feel like most hiring managers are already out of office.
While many of us feel that we should put our job search on hold until the new year, this is actually a huge missed opportunity during this time of year. It’s true, interviews may go a bit quieter in December, but it often picks up again in the new year when budgets get finalised and pending projects get the go ahead. This can mean you’ll be in a prime position come January, if you’re able to take advantage of networking in December.
Holiday activities are a great place to start. How many long lost friends, colleagues and family members come out of the woodwork in December? Think of all the holiday parties and festive gatherings you get invited to.
People are often in giving moods and feeling generous at this time of year, so it’s the perfect time to leverage your relationships and spread the word amongst those who support you most.
You may be feeling pulled in a million directions this time of year, but if you can prioritise the social invites you receive, you never know who you will meet. Don’t push the invite to the back of your mind, check your calendar and make arrangements to attend.
Plan in advance for the event you’re attending. If you know the host, ask who might be there and request an introduction. Refresh yourself on current events and have a few topics to talk about. If you have a business card, bring them along.
Prepare yourself for small talk. Be curious about others, don’t just make it all about your job search. You’ll connect with people on topics such as favourite books, sports teams, restaurants and holidays. By connecting and identifying commonalities, you’ll be able to move onto the more serious topic of job search.
Follow up with any lead or idea you’re given. Thank the person who helped you and keep in touch with new introductions to nurture the relationship further. You never know what networks other people have.
Rather than putting the big freeze (!) on your job search, see this time as a perfect opportunity to warm up your social circle. This creates the perfect opportunity to highlight your skills and experience to a new audience, which in turn can create new opportunities.
This article was written by Megan Camacho, founder of Balanced Mother Coaching. BMC was created to support women looking to make a career change or return from a career break with confidence.
December 21, 2022