Holiday Festivities Are Great Networking Venues for Candidates and Decision-Makers
December 18, 2008
by Debra Feldman
The approaching holiday season is networking paradise and the perfect timing for arranging introductions to those you want to know. More importantly, it’s a time to focus on how you can give to others. In fact, successful networkers seek out ways to help others, often suggesting assistance and support generously before it is requested.
Definition of Good Networking
The most reliable networking strategy to guarantee results promotes good relationships by concentrating on giving more and expecting less. Seek out ways to surprise people by offering assistance before they ask. Such generosity is sure to delight the recipient, create good interpersonal chemistry and generate desire to return the favor.
Strengthening Your Network
Relationships are cemented and continue to thrive when both sides recognize benefits and value. Productive networking is relationship-driven not transaction-oriented. This time of year offers many occasions to nurture relationships, create lasting positive impressions, get on the radar and be remembered for your remarkable assistance. It’s a wonderland of fresh prospects and a harvest of contact renewals. The many corporate events, social occasions and community celebrations offer myriad of giving opportunities. Extend invitations — whether or not they are accepted — to connect and let others know that you are thinking of them.
Almost any neighborhood, family or business gathering produces a conversation with someone who has information you can mine unobtrusively for leads to new career challenges for yourself and those you know. Brief interactions can be springboards to great relationships if you find ways to provide support and thereby sustain the connection.
Want to enhance your networking efficiency to generate even better results? Prepare thoroughly in advance, anticipate questions and have well thought-out and concise responses prepared. Be ready to make clear, compelling points to pique curiosity. Listen actively so you are apt to pick up on a need you can address and keep up your end of the discussion. Come armed with business cards that have your contact information as well as a few bullet points on the reverse depicting your interests and areas of expertise or other memorable data.
To further increase your networking effectiveness, attend gatherings where you are comfortable. Avoid situations where you might be stressed, rushed or distracted from your networking mission. It is often more enjoyable and effective to partner with a friend. In such cases each can introduce the other as an icebreaker to start new relationships and keep conversations flowing.
Remember to stay focused. To reap the full benefits of networking purposefully, you must be alert and stay sharp. Conduct yourself professionally at all times. Dress conservatively. The ROI is simple. Just one meaningful dialog creates measurable value from every networking event. It’s the quality not the quantity of relationships developed, pursued or renewed. Remember that it is who knows what you know that produces new opportunities in today’s job market.
Happy holidays, happy giving and happy networking!
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© Debra Feldman, 2008
Debra Feldman is the JobWhiz™, a nationally-recognized expert who designs and personally implements swift, strategic, and customized senior level executive job search campaigns, banishing barriers that prevent immediate success. Her gift for cold calling, executed with high energy and savvy panache, connects candidates directly to decision makers, not HR. Network Purposefully™ with the JobWhiz, and compress your job search into mere weeks, using groundbreaking techniques soon to be profiled in Forbes magazine and featured in an upcoming syndicated television series. In addition to writing columns and conducting workshops for several revered professional associations, Debra provides career guidance to alumni of top-tier business schools. Contact Debra at www.JobWhiz.com to expedite your executive ascent.