Ten Tips for Networking Merry: How Plugging into Contacts Can Light Up Your Communications Career during the Holidays
Your networking program should never stop—even during the holidays. After all, people may be busier, but you still need to make contacts. Here are some quick tips to help you be more successful in your networking efforts this holiday season. Who knows…maybe you’ll land a new job in the new year by following these reminders:
1. Check schedules. Networking contacts are doing you a favor. Ask them what is best for their schedule.
2. Avoid networking hari-kari. Once you have an appointment, don’t break it. If you must, explain why. Leaving a message saying you’re busy or that something just came up is networking suicide.
3. Be on time for your appointment. If someone is putting you into their schedule, then be respectful of their time. Also, remember that you are intruding on their work time—so you might have to wait.
4. Keep it brief. Don’t plan to take an hour of anyone’s time. A fifteen minute to half-hour meeting is tops.
5. Don’t rely on email. Try to phone your contact. Many companies have their emails monitored and are asked not to work on personal emails in the office.
6. Be prepared. You’ve made the appointment to gather information, so know what you want to ask.
7. Stick to specifics. Your networking connection can help you with specific information. They can’t help you decide what you want to do or help you solve your problems.
8. Set the stage. If you want to make a career change, ask the contact if they can help you in advance. Don’t make an appointment and ask for something the contact can’t or doesn’t feel comfortable giving.
9. Circle back. If a contact gives you additional names, let the person know when you have contacted them, met with them, etc. It’s common courtesy and will also keep you in touch with your contact.
10. Keep in touch with your contacts. You’ve made them and you don’t want to lose them and have to start all over again.
With all the holiday parties coming up, remember not to be the Scrooge in the room. Meet and greet people and wish them well. You can follow up for advice/help in the New Year.
Published: December 6, 2010 By: