Sure, you’ve been to networking events, happy hours, alumni events, and the like, but don’t forget about the network you already have—your family. The holidays are approaching, and so are the opportunities to get your name out there and start branching out. From your great aunt who’s recently retired to an older cousin in a similar position as you, start building those connections this holiday season.
Networking should be anything but a dead-end, and your family is one of the greatest resources to further your career. Keep the conversation going with these suggestions on how to network during the holidays.
Break the ice first
No one—family included—wants to be immediately bombarded with job-related questions. Ease into the conversation with ice breakers: anything surrounding the holidays, if they have a vacation coming up, or how the kids are doing. More often than not, they’ll bring up your job eventually without you having to first.
Talk about what your plans are
Are you looking to move up in your current job or do you want to switch industries completely? Make sure you know what your plan is, and if you have no idea, then networking with family members can be even more lucrative. Let them know your intentions, any questions you have, and your hopes for your career.
Keep it professional
Once you’re done talking about kids, vacations, and general holiday madness, move onto the career talk, and treat it like any other professional conversation. They are probably more than willing to help out, but don’t take advantage of the fact that it’s a family member you’re talking to, instead of an overly intimidating higher-up. Be gracious; this is the holidays after all.
Even though this is your family, don’t forget about following up and thanking them, or simply continuing the conversation. If they said they would pass on your resume or get back in touch with you about an open position, be sure to bring this up. Don’t be bashful about your accomplishments! Highlight how far you’ve come and where you hope to go in your career. Your family, more than most people, want to see you succeed, and will appreciate the phone call.
Strengthening your network is always something to improve upon, but during the holidays, this couldn’t be more true. Tighten those family bonds and move up in your career all at once.