Networking covers a lot of bases when it comes to different topics of conversations. Whether you are currently operating a small business storefront on Shopify or seeking a career change, networking is a stepping stone to meeting the right people. When it comes to networking during the holiday season, some rather interesting questions come up. People want to know what you have done to prepare for the holidays and what you are going to during the time off. Like reconnecting with family and friends, a lot of people take this time to reconnect with old co-workers and use it as an excuse to catch up to maintain old connections.
While networking can sometimes be about reminiscing, there are ways you can overcome these frustrations to make some career changes. Let us take a look at what you can do to strategize your career networking this holiday season:
Don’t sell yourself, tell your story.
You have probably heard it over and over again that landing a dream job or career is about “selling yourself.” Compare this to the heartwarming emotions of the holidays, and you will begin to understand why stories have a way of moving people that selling cannot.
Telling a story for the purpose of networking can help you connect by showing a relevant background. Discuss a relevant project you are working on at the moment, or let them know what you have been grateful for during your career this holiday season. There is nothing better than learning fun facts about someone else through an intriguing story.
Speak in the moment; the future is now.
One of the biggest mistakes we often make is placing too much emphasis on on current state. If you intend for a career change, do not make too much mention of your current job unless it is related to a point you are making about the future. What are you currently doing that is helping you move towards your next job or career?
People want to know not about where you currently are, but how you are going to get to where you want to be. When we speak of experiences, we use them as evidence that we are capable of exhibiting certain skills or traits. However, when it comes to changing your career, it is more about how capable you are of learning new skills in the new future.
The most valuable relationships require work.
Like any other relationship, networking relationships require a considerable amount of effort to maintain. Be specific about the stories you share if you know what will appeal to your networking target the most. One of the most valuable things that come from networking is establishing a common connection. Without this common connection, it will be difficult to continue the relationship in the future.
Finding a common story or experience is a strong cue that a follow-up can be sent in the near future and a sign the other party would not mind speaking to you again. For now, listen to what your networking partner has to say and record these details (when you can) on their business card. This will help trigger memories of this conversation in a couple days when you can send some emails to share your new discoveries with them. In your follow-up, make mention of details from your conversation and take an interest in what you can offer to help them.
Share common interests.
Sometimes the best networking connections are not established by standard career goals but also interests outside of work. Do not become discouraged when you are unable to establish a firm connection with the first people you meet, like friends; you only need the selective few to make an impact in your life.
Happy holiday networking!
Today’s post is written by Simon Davis. He is a full-time business writer and has had the privilege of attending some of the most renowned business conclaves held across the world. When not on business he loves spending time with his girlfriend and adventure sports.
Photo Credit: Flickr – Mr.TinDC
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