Are you excited for winter break and for your finals to be over? I bet you have a whole break full of lounging around, eating TONS of holiday food, hanging out with family, and shopping with all of that Christmas money. I understand that with such a busy schedule planned you may not have much time left over for networking, but holidays provide you with a great networking opportunity.
Holiday Party Tips:
If you have business cards, this would be a great opportunity to use them. Bring a pen too. This allows you to write something on the back of the card to jog your new contact’s memory of who you are.
Don’t cling to people you know. Be independent and set a goal for how many new contacts you want to make.
If you’re attending a holiday party where you know some of the guest list, you should do research ahead of time on their LinkedIn or Facebook pages to learn about recent accomplishments and jobs. This will give you great talking points to break the ice.
Once you get into a good conversation, remember to ask good questions. People like to talk about themselves, so feed into that. “How did you get started?” “Read any good books lately?” “What do you think about…?”
Don’t have more than a couple drinks. If you plan on using this holiday party as a networking opportunity, you want to make sure you keep yourself professional and you aren’t too relaxed during conversations.
Don’t doubt yourself throughout the night. If it helps, make a list of all the reasons you rock before you head to the party. The ideas will be fresh in your mind and you can think back to that list for a boost of confidence if you start to doubt yourself. Remain confident in yourself and your abilities, because if you aren’t confident in yourself, a new contact isn’t going to be either.
When talking to your new contact, try and segue into a future meeting. However, keep it natural. Remember the event and honor the fact that a holiday party allows for informal networking. How you present yourself, because if you’re too focused on business, you may turn people off.
Send holiday cards as a follow up. This is a great way to remind your new contacts who you are and to let them know you remember them. A little card can say a lot.