It’s the most wonderful time of the year, so the song says, but that’s no guarantee for people who are looking for a new job or worried about the viability of their current one.
That’s why it’s critical to take advantage of the great opportunities this season offers to enhance your career.
Networking opportunities abound during the holidays. Former coworkers or old friends may include you on their party invitations, or you can reach out to them and invite them to your holiday party. Even if you are not actively looking for a new job, it’s a great idea to nurture your network, and these gatherings make it easy and fun.
Of course, if you are actively looking for a job, make sure you speak up about it as you are mingling among the cookies and egg nog. Ask others about their jobs, too; show an interest. You never know what kind of profitable investment you might be making as you build new relationships.
Sending cards and notes is a great practice during the season, and it’s another way for you to reach out to associates and former colleagues.
Another perfect activity at this time of year: attending charity benefits and/or volunteering. Holiday fundraisers can make you feel good to give, and they can connect you with wonderful people. Your future boss might see you at an event, and your presence might speak favorably about your character.
The same goes for volunteering. If you don’t believe me, check out this local news segment (from San Francisco) on how your involvement can lead you to a new job.
All of the above can work in your favor, as long as you’re careful about the one big risk: the office holiday party. This setting has been the downfall for many workers who forget that the event is still a professional function. It demands a level of professional behavior (and restraint with alcohol consumption). The same holds true for other holiday parties at which you might be trying to impress a new boss or coworker. You can find more office party do’s and don’ts on Yahoo! HotJobs.
Party on, but keep it professional where it counts so you have the “hap-happiest season of all.”