In my pursuit of leading edge career strategies, I was directed to Harvard Business Review’s Contributor, Elizabeth Saunders who has partnered with Zachary Johnson, an expert in social network analysis, to create a list of 7 Networking Tips to maximize your network opportunities and advance your career at your Holiday Office Party. I hope his strategies will give you the inside edge and open the door for some great networking conversations.
1. “Understand that the primary goal is not to have fun”
Christmas cocktails to the side (at least for the moment), first focus on building new networks and connections outside of your work group and division. Also, raise your profile by introducing yourself to the organization’s leaders and influencers.
2. “Plan to meet key people”
Prior to these events, develop a list of new people you want to meet. Research to identify projects they’ve been involved with during the past year. Then, when you meet, you can bridge to discussing these projects and their successes, and find out more about what’s on the horizon for the New Year.
3. “Avoid the usual suspects”
Broaden your network. Reach out and build new relationships with people outside of your work area and your division, as they can put you in the know about upcoming opportunities you would not otherwise hear about.
4. “Build personal connections rather than talking only about work”
Get to know your network. Find out what they like to do outside of work, their plans for the holidays and more. Strengthen these relationships by focusing on getting to know them as people, versus someone you need to call on to get a project done.
5. “Use the buddy system”
Nervous about networking? Grab a wing man. Saunders recommends you use these work colleagues and friends to “help you ease your entry into new circles.”
6. “Don’t spend too long with one person” and 7. “But don’t bounce around too much, either”
At your Holiday Office Party, focus on strengthening your existing relationships and building new networks. You will reap the rewards in the upcoming year.
Happy networking and connecting over the Holiday Season!
Author: Joanne Loberg of JL Careers Inc. is a Certified Executive Coach and Internationally Certified Career Management Professional. She specializes in coaching professional and executive clients, and providing career advancement strategies. Copyright JL Careers Inc. All rights reserved.