This is certainly a year that is different than any other. Many things have changed, as has job searching. And job searching during the holiday season is certainly different this year. Here are four ways holiday networking and job searching is different and how you can make the best of it to still land your next role during this season and before 2021 starts.
1. No College Buddy Get-Togethers
The holidays are always a good time of year to catch up with college alumni groups and your college friends at a local watering hole. Well, not this year. It’s disappointing for sure. But don’t forego the opportunity to connect. You can still benefit from connecting with your college friends and new alumni connections safely in the pandemic. Set up a small group (i.e., 2-5 people) who meet outside in a socially distanced, masked fashion to rekindle your connection and share your covid-year experiences. You can obviously always do this over Zoom, too, based on the local health regulations you must adhere to in your area first and foremost.
2. No Company Holiday Parties
The absence of a company holiday party means managers and employees cannot celebrate working together and all they accomplished throughout the year. The opportunities to show gratitude and to see each other in a more human way are limited. Does this mean no party means no holiday networking and no get together? Not at all. Instead, take things into your own hands and schedule gratitude get-togethers either safely in person wherever possible or via online meetings. Make more of an effort to send handwritten notes (not emails) to show that you enjoyed working with someone this year and appreciate all they have done. Just because the medium has changed doesn’t mean you don’t have to show humanness. Create that opportunity for yourself and your co-workers.
3. No Neighborhood Events
Again, a lack of local community events can leave you alone in your house devoid of in-person networking opportunities, right? Well, no if you are committed and creative about making the most of the holiday time. So figure out a good way to connect and stay safe at the same time. It can be done, you just need to take all precautions and plan accordingly.
4. No “Let’s Go Have A Drink” Meetings
Former co-workers often meet during the holidays for a drink to reminisce and informally network. It’s also where you can meet other people if each of you are bringing new people to the get-together…or you can simply have a deep conversation with just the two of you. But now, the “Let’s go have a holiday drink…” is not happening for most people in most areas. So what should you do? Think of who you met last year and reach out to them to do a virtual drink this year. Make a list of 10-12 people you would love to connect with and invite them to a virtual chat. Lead with “I know this is a crazy year and we are being robbed of holiday parties to chat…would you like to set up an informal chat?” and see where it goes.
The key to holiday networking in a pandemic is to be deliberate and make plans to reach out to people—new and familiar. And then follow through on your reach out plan. This year may be different…but it doesn’t have to be unsocial if you put in some effort. These tips should help.
Lisa Rangel is the Founder and Managing Director of Chameleon Resumes LLC (https://chameleonresumes.com/) the premier executive resume writing and job landing consulting firm named a Forbes Top 100 Career Website. As a Cornell University graduate, she is also a Certified Professional Resume Writer, Job Landing Consultant & 13-year Recruiter. Lisa was also a paid Moderator for LinkedIn’s Premium Groups for eight years. Chameleon Resumes reviews the goals of senior-level job seekers to ensure career documents serve their goals while meeting the needs of the prospective employers. She has been featured in Fortune, Inc., CNN Business, Fast Company, Business Insider, Forbes, LinkedIn, CNBC, Time Money, BBC, Newsweek, Crain’s New York, Chicago Tribune, eFinancialCareers, CIO Magazine, Monster, US News & World Report, Good Morning America, Fox Business News, New York Post, and other reputable media outlets. Rangel has authored 16 career resources found at joblandingacademy.com