Before the holiday season is upon you it's time to prepare for the career opportunities that will be coming your way. Whether you're looking for long term career development or something more short term like a new job, the holidays are a great time to get yourself to the next step.
If you're looking for a new job, the holidays can present a great opportunity for you to make your move. The combination of job seekers being busy with holiday activities and mistakenly believing that employers don't hire during the holiday season increase your chances of landing that next position – if you are prepared to act and seize the opportunity.
Where are the opportunities? During the holiday season look to holiday gatherings to let people know you are doing and what you are looking to do. Holiday parties give you the opportunity to talk with people you would not normally meet. In networking these are called weak connections because you don't have a solid relationship with these people. Weak connections are the most likely place you will find someone who can help you. There are many reasons for this but one to think about is that if your close connections could help you they already would have.
Of course to take advantage of these opportunities you need to be prepared. Here are some tips to get ready now, before you get swept up in holiday activities:
Know what you want – Are you looking for a new job? Want to speak somewhere? Connect with someone?
Have Materials – Do you have an updated resume? Do you have a presentation? Do you have something to give someone when they ask? Business cards?
Elevator Pitch – Do you have a short, engaging description of what you do or what you're looking for? Do you have an empowering request? At a holiday party you want to have an engaging story that invites someone to want to talk with you more.
You have 2 – 3 weeks to prepare yourself. Will you be ready?