'Tis the Season to Mingle - Top Tips for Networking

We are knee-deep in the holiday season when there are more social activities than any other time of the year. You may enjoy the chance to get out and meet new people and potential business contacts, or you may dread these social “command performances.”

My first recommendation is “just do it.” Push yourself to take advantage of the opportunities offered and attend as many events or social gatherings as your schedule and budget will allow.

Follow these suggestions to make the most of the holiday season:

· Before you leave home, make sure you have a good supply of business cards in an easily accessible pocket.

· If you are unemployed, have cards printed with your contact information.

· Make eye contact and smile! You will be more approachable.

· Look for someone who is standing alone and ask a question, such as “How are you connected to the honoree?” or “What is your position with XYZ company?” or “In what branch of the Military did you serve?”

· Follow up the next day with potential employers. Send an email to say you enjoyed meeting them. Ask if you can meet in person to learn more about opportunities with their company.

· Make it a challenge to make at least one good business contact at every social gathering!

· Avoid looking at your phone during the event as it signals disinterest.

· Limit alcohol consumption if you want to make a good impression.

In closing, don’t look at business and social events with dread. Take advantage of the opportunity to increase your network of friends and business connections. You never know which connection will be the one that changes your life!

Debbie Joyner, CFRE
Chief Development Officer

Still Serving Veterans