The end of the year does not mean the end of career networking. Quite the opposite, NOW is the ideal time to spread the news of your value and contributions. To detail, let’s respond to a brief summary and question submitted last week by a recent college graduate, Chris Alcott:
“I graduated with a business degree earlier this year and was hoping that would be enough to get a decent job offer. I’ve been unemployed for the past 18 months due to a downsizing. Looks like no one is bringing on new employees and the only thing going on are holiday parties, gatherings, and a hiring freeze. Last November and December I resigned to wait until January to re-launch my job search and concentrate on my final semester of classes. What’s your thoughts… are the last two or three months of the year a waste of time for the unemployed? If not, what are your suggestions?”
To set the record straight once and for all, the final three months of the year are not a waste of time for the unemployed and can be quite successful.
Career fact: Seasonal help, even part time, is at a full-time high during the final quarter.
If you’re thinking a low-wage job for a month or two is below your status, crawl out from that rock you are renting and wake up. Though many seasonal positions are for a short stint, not all are. Believe it or not, a solid percentage of those hired during this time progress into full-time positions with promotions and salary increases.
Though I know little about Mr. Alcott, gaining a seasonal position will add strength to your resume by way of added customer service experience. Not only will one achieve a paycheck, the psychological benefits of getting out there and contributing to the household will create a positive impact. Being a recent graduate, many employers look at the soft skills offered and use that when measuring up candidates.
Looking to turn that seasonal position into a full-time position? Here’s a tip, employers are always searching for top-notch employees to join their team, in any industry.
Consider an employer’s perspective… what are they looking for with their seasonal bunch? Here’s another clue (or two) about the evaluation process, gaining full-time status, and what you need to highlight on and off the clock:
* An eagerness to learn and a drive to represent the company mission
* Confidence and an initiative to do what needs to be done without complaint
* To ‘think’ and ‘act’ professionally, without compromising patience, quality, or production
* Dedication, aptitude, and loyalty to perform tasks outside limited job duties
* ‘Show’ you are a keeper… and yes, your boss is watching and his or her observations will be relayed to the company elite
Career fact: Networking is at an all-time high during the holiday season.
While on the topic of networking during the holiday season, I would like to introduce a wonderful resource I have been taking advantage for years, http://www.cultureandmanners.com.
Thanks to the polite folks at the Culture and Manners Institute, let’s review the following insight…
Networking does not mean you become a walking/talking resume. Think of networking as research. As said in previous Etiquette Tips, the best way to start and continue a conversation is to ask questions:
* What do you do for a living?
* How long have you been with that company?
* How did you first become interested in that company?
* What do you like best about your company (or job)?
* How did you get started in that field?
Holiday networking is not just job research, its company research; because you learn which company has happy and satisfied employees and which ones don’t. (One person badmouthing their company might just be a malcontent. Three is a pattern.)
Here is the best part. When you ask questions of another person, you show you are taking interest in that person and that makes people feel good about them. This is what etiquette is all about.
Some people who are out of work avoid holiday parties. Never fear to admit you are out of work. Everyone has been there. Networking skills honed in holiday season are valuable assets when you do find employment. Now get out there and party.
For those interested in receiving an Etiquette Tip of the Week, check out their site mentioned above.
The final few months of the year can prove to be career successful. In other words, Chris, don’t get discouraged and do get yourself out there!
For those interested in cutting-edge career books to guide you along your journey, visit www.edu-cs.com or go to Amazon and search Danny at ECS for a listing of available
Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist
Got Twitter? Shadow me @dannyatecs