Networking Quote of the Day:

"Give first, give often and expect nothing in return. When you do this treasures will arrive in amounts all out of proportion to what you gave." Ken Tudhope.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Holiday Networking is a Good Idea

This time of the year I hear the same thing over and over again, “Since all hiring has stopped, I’m going to discontinue my search until after the holidays.” The people who say this are correct and at the same time they are very incorrect.  How can this be?

They are correct because the hiring process does slow down.  Hiring managers are out of the office and it’s exceedingly difficult to coordinate schedules.  Also, pressing year-end issues outweigh long-term hiring decisions as top priorities for managers and executives.  In other cases, annual budgets have run out and even if the perfect candidate is found, they can’t make the offer until the New Year so they slow down the process hoping to retain candidates.

At the same time they are absolutely incorrect because they confuse the networking process with the hiring process.  People in transition are really looking for referrals, not interviews.  Our research over the past 6+ years shows that 68% of all successful job opportunities came through referrals.  The top referral sources are “past colleagues, classmates and co-workers” and the people they know.  The holiday season is an absolutely fantastic time to network for referrals because more people come out and everyone is a bit more open and approachable.  Many networking groups have social events where spouses and others are invited which doubles the opportunity to find a good job referral.  Actually it's better than that,  because spouses and significant others have networks of their own which gives job seekers access to diverse groups of people that will know about opportunities in companies, industries and functional areas outside the focused area of the networking group itself.

It’s also a great time to redouble your networking because so many others simply will not show up and it’s great to be center stage.  In January, while those who rested in December are restarting their networking activities, you will be scheduling interviews!

There are however, a few things to remember.  You need to be a bit more subtle during the holidays.  It is definitely no time to charge into a holiday event with your job search top of mind; leave your resume at home and enjoy the event.  When you bring holiday cheer in your heart, the job search networking will take care of itself.  If it was meant to be it will work out.  Simply inquire about the other person, and most likely they will ask about you, offering the chance for you to present your elevator speech.

Yes, I said keep the holiday cheer in your heart.  Every season there is someone who drinks too much "cheer" and makes an ass out of themselves.  Don’t do it!

For those who got this far and are thinking, "I'm not in a job search.”  Just remember, we are all in a job search all the time.  All the advantages and warnings of Holiday Networking apply to all of us.

Like most endeavors it will be the “little things” that nobody sees that makes the impact.


  1. I'm not suprised over two-thirds of good opportunities come through referrals but that stat makes me want to network a whole lot more. Thanks for the tips. Hope you have a blessed holiday season!

  2. Thanks Mark, and after you get that opportunity keep networking for ever!

    Bless you for the Holidays!!!