Changing careers or jobs? Your search doesn’t have to grind to a halt during the holidays. Keep your momentum going throughout the holiday season and find new ways to reach your target companies. In fact, you may find increased opportunities to meet prospective employers, make valuable contacts and reconnect with people you haven’t seen for a while.
Usually it’s a good idea accept holiday party invitations, talk to strangers while traveling, and mail out holiday cards with a hand-written signature.
Nearly all career change comes from serendipity – chance encounters that happen while you are pursuing other goals. The more you spend time with strangers, the more likely you’ll encounter someone who can give you the perfect bit of information at just the right time.
Here are some other benefits of holiday networking.
Perspective: When you’re attending a party or meeting a stranger on a plane, you get access to viewpoints you would ordinarily never see. You might be surprised to discover how your field is regarded by people in other industries. You might encounter someone who took a big chance and learned lessons from success or failure.
Practice: If you are considering a new career or a business, practice presenting yourself in your new role. When you say, “Here’s what I do,” pay attention to how you feel as you make these statements. Are you confident and proud? Hesitant? A little embarrassed?
These feelings can be important clues to your success as you change jobs, careers or industries. I noticed myself that it’s time to change careers when I found myself wishing I could introduce myself in some other way.
Reaction: Watch the reactions of others as you share your story. Do their eyes glaze over? Do they seem impressed by an achievement you take for granted?
Of course, pay attention to your own reactions as well. How do you feel when you hear about the accomplishments of a software engineer? An accountant? A professional artist? What parts of their stories resonate with you and what makes your eyes glaze over?
My own story is a good illustration, For the last several years I’ve focused on my online marketing business, especially copywriting. My first business was related to careers and career change; as I learned the Internet, I began to hep others.
But I couldn’t give up my passion for careers and career change. Whenever I meet people I tend to interrogate them about their careers, career choices and career plans. (I try to disguise this interaction as pleasant small talk, but nobody’s fooled.)
When I revealed that I have a career website, my new acquaintances would say, “No wonder you seemed awfully interested in my career.”
Aha. Click. And time to put my career website on the front burner.
If you’d like to explore some career change tips during your own holiday season, check out my career consultation session here.