I think one of the hardest things about networking events is just getting a conversation going with someone—without being awkward about it. Approaching someone new can be stressful, but it doesn't have to be. So, what are some natural and easy ways to break the ice?
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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!
Family Gatherings<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjEwNzM5My9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0NjA2MjUyNn0.ulYQG0sWU--O6FBLybeVa1cxQCyenGxWAO3uZZBjeHk/img.jpg?width=980" id="bbe10" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="6b9ca49c7d63e59391d47a4ace090a0f" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Networking during the holidays can happen anywhere, even family gatherings." /><p>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.</p><p><strong>It's a long shot, but you never know!</strong></p>
Neighborhood Parties<div style="width:100%;height:0;padding-bottom:56%;position:relative;"><iframe src="https://giphy.com/embed/l0MYt5jPR6QX5pnqM" width="100%" height="100%" style="position:absolute" frameBorder="0" class="giphy-embed" allowFullScreen></iframe></div><p><a href="https://giphy.com/gifs/party-the-office-hard-l0MYt5jPR6QX5pnqM">via GIPHY</a></p><p>Parties are an opportunity to meet people, and you never know who you'll meet. You could go to a party given by a neighbor and end up talking to the CEO of Company XYZ. Conversation leads to the CEO learning that you are currently available. "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." </p><p><strong>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.</strong></p>
Get Yourself Invited To Parties Where Your Spouse Or Significant Other Has Been Invited<div style="width:100%;height:0;padding-bottom:56%;position:relative;"><iframe src="https://giphy.com/embed/TLhOKeI4rNFLkiMzgV" width="100%" height="100%" style="position:absolute" frameBorder="0" class="giphy-embed" allowFullScreen></iframe></div><p><a href="https://giphy.com/gifs/hallmarkmovie-miracles-of-christmas-moc-mab2019-TLhOKeI4rNFLkiMzgV">via GIPHY</a></p><p>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<strong> you just have to find ways to get out and mingle with people.</strong><br></p>
Find A Toastmasters Group Near You<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjEwNzQwMy9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0MzExMzYyMn0.A4vZ8QeP77Bcdnes6a0hn1YqME-qa8jnCb38mmYX6tc/img.jpg?width=980" id="4cc56" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="52da347c6057e62ccf45dbee1cb9dcac" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="There are plenty of networking opportunities out there, you just have to put effort into it." /><p>Toastmasters International is a non-profit organization with local clubs all over the world, in over 126 countries and with 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 <a href="https://www.toastmasters.org/" target="_blank">toastmasters.org</a> and selecting "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. </p><p>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 <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/how-to-develop-leadership-skills" target="_blank">leadership skills.</a> These are skills you will need on your next job no matter what type of job you'll eventually land. </p>
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After a long day at work, sometimes all you want to do is sit on the couch, eat a bag of chips, and zone out watching television. The thought of attending a networking event seems so daunting. Not only do you have to give up free time, but you also may have to talk with strangers.
With this type of mindset, it's easy to see why so many people are apprehensive about the concept of networking. However, when you avoid networking, you miss out on so many great opportunities.