Holiday networking – it’s a thing, even in COVID times

The holidays are a great time for networking in a couple of different ways. Without realizing it, most of us have been holiday networking since we were kids. At what other time of year do you see so many people that you normally don’t see? Obviously, the pandemic has changed a few things. Many places in Canada are back in lockdown, and public health guidelines have put severe restrictions on social gatherings.

But that doesn’t mean the opportunity is lost. Let’s take a little peek at your options, shall we?

Currently working

New to the world of work? It might help you to know that company holiday parties provide a great opportunity to expand your network and start on a foundation for your next career move. With everyone being forced to go online due to COVID-19, holiday parties are also more creative than in past years. You won’t be lined up at the buffet and then dancing to some terrible 80s and 90s mix by the cheapest DJ the company could find. Organizations of all kinds are hosting everything from online karaoke to virtual escape rooms to digital board game nights. There might actually be a real opportunity for some fun collaboration with people you don’t know very well. Just be sure to follow up with any new connections and to continue to build those relationships in the new year.

Exploring career options

After this year, millions of people are exploring their career options moving forward. Whether you are seeking a career or job change, or you are a student trying to figure out what to do after high school (or post-secondary) graduation, networking opens doors. A great place to start is informational interviews. What most people don’t think about is booking them in December. The reality is, everyone’s professional calendars are about to empty out. And with lockdowns and other restrictions in place, a lot of people don’t have the extensive holiday plans they would in other years. Now is a perfect time of year to ask for 20 minutes of someone’s time to get more information on a potential career path.

Helping out as a parent

What can you do from a parent perspective? Lots!

  1. You can help connect your teen or 20something kids to people you know so they can set up informational interviews.
  2. If you have an adult child working at home right now, ask them about their company’s holiday plans. Encourage them to go to the holiday party no matter how “Zoomed out” they are. The bosses notice, believe me.
  3. If you child lives with you, help them carve out physical space to participate in these activities – let them borrow your office, or figure out how to keep other siblings or family members (including fur family members!) occupied so they can focus.

‘Tis the season for gathering and sharing, celebrating our wins and looking ahead to next year. With a little creativity, we can all still do that even with COVID-19 restrictions in place. Have fun!

Need help with networking or job searching? Check out our suite of workshops, available as of January 2021.

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