There you are at a holiday gathering in your brand new top or red sweater holding your Cuppa Good Cheer. You're feeling a little awkward. You've learned that you're supposed to use these social events to meet lots of people, make small talk, ask them what they do and how business is going. And then you have to be prepared for: So, what are you up to? When I saw you this summer you were looking for work. How's that going? Or How's your job? What are you doing now?
Instead of launching into a story about your company's troubles (or demise), or your agonizing job search, have a couple of lines ready to incorporate into your response: You know, I see glimmers of hope that keep me feeling positive. Did you see the article in the WSJ (or News and Record) about XYZ company that implemented some great strategies to keep all their employees? And there's a new R&D company coming to Guilford County that looks promising. What are you seeing?
There are lots of ways to make holiday networking work for you. Here are some thoughts for those of us who want to have fun and also make meaningful contacts.
I would love to hear your feedback on this topic and welcome your emails.
Kathleen Martinek, former UNCG alumni career counselor, has more than 15 years of experience in career development and corporate management. firstname.lastname@example.org