In a normal work week, life is pretty busy. Not only are there meetings, clients, vendors, co-workers, and bosses to deal with… We’re also busy with family, grocery shopping, civic involvement, sleep, favorite TV shows, cleaning the house, and hopefully some exercise and good rest.
When you’re out of work, time seems to creep by too slowly. Without a reason to get up early and go to work, there’s little urgency in the morning. There’s an overwhelming sense of things taking FOREVER to happen. Managers don’t call or email back when they said they would. Job applications seem to be lost in cyber abyss.
During the holidays, a job seeker can have a lot of added stress because people aren’t calling back because they’re busy with too many other things going on – like office parties, department lunches, Secret Santa, time off with family, etc.
No matter how busy people are during the holidays, there are some great ways to connect with your network to effectively develop relationships.
First of all, keep in mind that it IS the holidays and that’s good news! People like the holidays and enjoy the fun and joy of the season. I personally like to take full advantage of this time of year to express thanks to my network.
There are several things you can do to connect with people, but here are 4 especially helpful tips on how to follow-up during the holidays without making things difficult for you and your network:
1. Send card with a hand written note of gratitude. Be specific to each person and make note of how they’ve helped you. If you don’t want your card lost in the hustle, wait until January 1st to send it.
2. Ask for an informational interview in January. Then, spend time during the holidays doing your research to prepare for the meeting. Sometimes people are relaxed enough during the holidays to have time for informational interviews. Don’t be shy – take the opportunity to ask for the informational interview!
3. Do something special for a neighbor that has really gone out of their way to help you. Perhaps you can shovel snow from their walk. Take a plate of special treats with a thank you note. Help your neighbor hang Christmas lights. Don’t be afraid to do service as a thank you for someone who did a service to you.
4. If you’re blogging, write an end of year “thank you” blog and write about how people have helped you. Don’t list their names unless you think it’s appropriate, but I would recommend that you don’t because many people like to help out without the fanfare.
However you follow-up with your network during the holidays, just remember that they are overwhelmed with the holiday rush, so don’t expect a lot of extra special attention in return for your efforts. But, always be courteous and take full advantage of this time of year to say “thank you!”. Your network will appreciate your sentiment.
How do you like to follow-up with your network during the holidays?