1. Make a list of contacts you would like to schedule coffee or drinks with. Prioritize your contacts, since scheduling dozens of drinks can get unwieldy. Think about the friends you miss and start there, as you’re more likely to actually meet up with them. Then, identify the contacts that are in the best position to help you because of their current job or their network. Finally, make a list of the general contacts you’ve amassed that would be nice to reconnect with but aren’t pressing. Start scheduling, but don’t overbook yourself. The beauty of a long list of contacts is that you can maintain it throughout the year. When you’ve got a drinks lull, you can turn to it for scheduling inspiration.
2. Monitor your connections’ promotions and job moves. Sending a congratulatory note to a friend or contact is a great way to reconnect -- ask to get coffee or a drink when they’re settled into the new position. LinkedIn will notify you when your connections update their profiles, and Variety’s Movers & Shakers email newsletter will clue you in to executive-level promotions.
3. Read the trades, especially if you work in television. January is when pilot pickups start, which means production companies are expanding, new showrunners need assistants, and PAs are in demand. Pinpoint potential opportunities and work your network to find someone who’s hiring on a show or who’s leaving their desk for a writers’ assistant job. Also, keep an eye out for companies that are hiring new executives or creating new departments, as they'll likely have some openings as well.
4. Attend more networking events, and join professional organizations. If you’ve let your JHRTS membership lapse because your current position kept you too complacent to attend events, now’s the time to renew. Become a more active member of your tracking boards, go to meet-ups and mixers, or start that writers' group.
5. Update your resume (or let us do it!). If you’re currently employed but just starting to test the waters this hiring season, make sure your resume is in tip-top shape so you can apply for jobs as soon as you hear about them. Most people don’t update their resumes when they’re happy in their current role and wind up rushing to add in their latest position when a good job opens up. That typically results in sloppy execution and no job offer -- don’t let that happen to you.