Tis The Season to Network!
The holidays are here! Not only are we gaining a few pounds and listening to everyone’s stories about their kids coming back from college, but we are networking, networking, networking!
Holiday parties are a fantastic time to expand your networking circle. But we understand it’s easier said than done: networking takes a lot of time, energy, and can be expensive. It doesn’t help that every week we’re receiving a personal invitation on LinkedIn to attend an event that promises to be full of Denver movers-n-shakers.
Let’s be honest here, there are really only a handful of Denver movers-n-shakers and finding them is like finding Santa without his “beer”ed. After attending a couple of holiday parties for our clients, here are a couple of tips we picked up for expanding your networking circle:
Dress appropriately. Recognize what kind of event it is. If it’s a dressy holiday party, be sure to dress up and look professionally spectacular. If it’s an office party…feel sorry for yourself and look professional.
Name tags. The name tag goes on the right side. Everyone shakes hands on the right side. When you lean in to shake that new business contact’s hand, your name tag will be hard to miss!
Keep it short! You are there to meet new contacts but you don’t need to pull out your resume. Keep it short and listen. The key is to get their business card so when the timing is right you can send them your fifty-page portfolio later.
Open-ended questions. Ask, “What type of work are you in?” or “What did you think of…?” Open-ended questions show you want to learn about them and their business and are a lot more interesting than, “Nice day, huh?” If you want to talk about the weather, there are people for that.
Say thank you. It’s common etiquette to say thank you to the host. So smile and thank your boss, your boss’ boss and anyone else who looks like a boss.
Exit quietly. Don’t call attention to yourself if you have to leave or you want to go to another party. Simply say thank you again and good-bye. Then get out before you’re pulled back in!
Have a good time and don’t worry about being the life of the holiday party. It is fine to just relax and enjoy that turkey leg and Corona. If something does takes a turn for the worst, just Shake, Shake, Shake It Off♪ ♫!