We have regularly preached the benefits of networking. It’s amazing that the simple act of getting out there and talking to people has – brought career opportunities to so many.
Social media, of course, makes networking easier than ever before, with round-the-clock opportunities to ‘meet’ like-minded people and potential career influencers on LinkedIn and Twitter.
But there’s nothing quite like a face-to-face conversation to make an impression on someone, so we strongly advise keeping an eye out for the right events in your area that will help you meet influencers within your chosen profession.
At Christmas you’re likely to find yourself networking more than ever, albeit on a more informal basis.
Keep your business cards handy and polish off your elevator pitch this December because it is traditionally the one time of year when you’re most likely to meet new people, go to social gatherings, visit extended family and, of course, attend the (infamous!) work Christmas party.
Most of us will have seen, heard or even been involved in a Christmas party horror tale, where the merriment amongst colleagues quickly got out of hand.
Lindsey and Katherine have heard stories where free bars have led to fights between colleagues, while many of us have, after a few too many festive drinks, decided that now was the time to tell your boss exactly what you thought of him. Yes, Katherine has been guilty of this one!
What’s more, the regular use of social media and cameras on phones has further increased the risks associated with Christmas party antics.
Despite the potential pitfalls, the festive season is always a great way to make a good impression, particularly on senior management or influencers in your field, who you may not deal with regularly on a day-to-day basis.
To navigate through the festive networking season, stick to the three steps below, throw in a bit of common sense and you should be fine:
- Don’t over indulge! Yes, it’s obvious but it’s the most important thing to remember. Particularly when there’s a free bar involved, it can be difficult to monitor your alcohol intake but it’s important to remember where you are. When networking, you’re always keen to make the best impression possible – don’t change this mind-set just because it’s Christmas.
- Remember who you’re with: That doesn’t just mean not getting blind drunk. It means no ‘raunchy’ nightclub-style dancing, no risqué jokes and definitely no advances on colleagues! We all know the boundaries within our close circle of friends, but be aware that you’re mixing with people from a range of different backgrounds, so be sensible.
- Be Sociable: Don’t hide away. This is a great way to socialise with your colleagues outside of the usual high-pressure working environment, so relax, use the opportunity to get to know people better and enjoy the occasion!
Career Ambitions is dedicated to enabling individuals realise their dreams by finding the career that is most suited to them. Contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org or 01223 633535 to see how we can help you.