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Networking Your Way Into The New Year

Many job seekers mistakenly believe that because corporations and organizations are closing their headquarters for the holidays, they are suspending their search for candidates for jobs they posted a month ago. Nothing could be further from the truth! The fact is that even during the holidays, companies are looking for talent. After all, the New Year is just around the corner, and most of them don’t want to be making up for lost time as the New Year gets under way. Related: 5 Things You MUST Do During Networking Events What does that mean for you if you are on the lookout for a new job? It means you need to continue to look by networking all throughout the holiday season. It also means that there are additional networking opportunities that you may be overlooking. This is the time for parties…all kinds of parties…office parties, neighborhood parties, family get-togethers, and so on. There is no way to know where you might stumble upon news of an opening or meet someone who is in a position to introduce you to your next boss. You need to get out of the house, however, and attend as many parties and gatherings as possible. In case you are an Introvert on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator--or in case you like to use the fact that you feel like an Introvert regardless of what your Myers-Briggs personality chart say--you have to get out of the house and meet people. This is, in fact, true whether it is the holiday season or not. The great thing about the holidays is that there are even more opportunities to meet people in a relaxed setting than you have at any other time of the year. So take advantage of it!

Here are 5 opportunities for networking during the holidays that you should seek out:

1. Family gatherings.

You may come from a large sprawling family with lots of cousins, aunts, and uncles. Most of them are employed, and many of them are connected in one way or another with the Human Resources Director of their company. They may know that the company is hiring but holding a posting for the first of the year. Wouldn’t it be great if you could glean that information from them in a casual manner over a cup of eggnog? You won’t get this information, however, if you stay at home as opposed to going to the family get-together.

2. Neighborhood parties.

I have heard more than one anecdotal story about how someone went to a party given by a neighbor and wound up talking to the CEO of Company XYZ. Conversation leads to the CEO learning that you are currently available because of a downsizing at your previous company. “Hey, we could use a guy (or gal) just like you with your skills and experience! Send me your resume tomorrow and let me see what I can do.” BOOM! You may be on your way to your next job. If you stay home, however, that conversation will never even have the opportunity to take place.

3. Get yourself invited to parties to which your spouse or significant other has been invited.

You aren’t just tagging along…you are the +1 and you serve a purpose in that way; but you also put yourself in the position of being available to chat with people who know other people who might be in the market for someone with your skills set. Again, if you stay at home, you won’t ever know, so you just have to find ways to get out and mingle with people.

4. Find Meetups that are made up of people with whom you can network.

If you aren’t familiar with Meetup yet, you should check them out. Go to Meetup.com and explore. I am currently a member of six very different Meetup Groups based upon my diverse interests. From wine to yoga to self-empowerment and social entrepreneurs…the list of possibilities is only as limited as your imagination. You can even start a group if you wish (for a small fee). Check out the Meetups in your area and seek out the meetings of groups that sound like they might be made up of people like you. As you meet new people, you are also building an important network that may work you into your next job.

5. Find a Toastmasters club near you.

Toastmasters International is a non-profit organization with local clubs all over the world…in over 126 countries and over 300,000 members. Toastmasters is a great way to network in a totally safe environment. You can find clubs near you by going to ToastmastersInernational.org and select the button “Find a club.” Unless you live in the middle of nowhere (literally) you will find a club that meets at a time and location that is convenient for you. Not only will you meet great new people, which allows you an opportunity to network with folks you might not otherwise meet, but you also have an opportunity to work on your communication and leadership skills. These are skills you will need on your next job no matter what type of job you'll eventually land. If you haven’t checked them out, I encourage you to find a Toastmasters club or two and visit to get a feel for the club that feels like a good fit for you. Networking is a must during any time of the year, but during this holiday season especially, you may find additional opportunities to get out of the house, meet new people, and network your way to your new job. Happy networking! This post was originally published at an earlier date. Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a Work It Daily-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Staying active at work can be a real challenge. It's easy to get sidetracked with projects and meetings, and not even realize you've been sitting for a couple (or more!) hours. So, how can busy professionals be more active during the work day?

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