For executives looking for fresh careers, the holiday season offers unique opportunities for growth and development. During the time between Christmas and the New Year, many CEOs, COOs, board members, and other executives take time off to recharge and reconnect with their loved ones. Stepping back to reengage with personal responsibilities is proven to increase the productivity, focus, and drive of business executives. Professionals who take advantage of excess of free time to find a new career path will face slimmer competition during the holidays, increasing the likelihood that a well-written executive resume will prompt a follow-up. Whether you’re taking a break or reinvigorating your job search, every executive building their career should take advantage of holiday networking.
Tips for Holiday Networking Success
- Find a partner. In some cases, networking safety blankets are a boon. Mingling at an office party with a friend or coworker allows you to feel more confident, increasing the likelihood that you’ll approach senior executives and strike up pertinent conversations. Networking with a friend also opens more business channels. Your friend likely has connections to share; you can pay back your coworker’s kindness by introducing her to the executive contacts in your business network.
- Look for opportunities. Striking up a conversation with an unknown executive at a holiday party is a daunting prospect. Take advantage of the setting to garner business connections without appearing pushy. Seek out the host of the party to thank him for his hospitality, strike up a conversation with the coworker standing solo at the snack table, and remain vigilant for opportunities to connect, such as discussing your favorite holiday movies with a visiting business partner.
- Play it cool. Are you searching for a new job before resigning from your current position? Networking at a holiday party doesn’t have to blow your cover. Focus on making contacts, finding commonality, and building relationships; leave business and development for subsequent conversations.
- Follow up. Networking at a holiday function means nothing if you don’t cultivate new relationships. Remember to send new business contacts a holiday greeting to strengthen the connection; chances are you’ll open the door to future opportunities for career advancement.