The holiday season is a busy and fun time, and with all the parties, shopping, and excitement about vacation and travel, the job search tends to fall on the backburner. This isn’t surprising, since most companies aren’t actively hiring new employees at the very end of the year (although there can be exceptions). You might use this time to update your resume in preparation for the new year, but you probably won’t be filling out too many job applications. However, there’s one thing you really should be doing at the end of the year to set yourself up for success in January – maintaining your network.
If you’re looking for a new job, hopefully you’ve spent the past few months building your network – attending mixers, setting up informational interviews, getting drinks with assistants and coordinators, or completing internships – but you can’t let these relationships fizzle! The holidays provide a great opportunity to reconnect with all those people you’ve gotten coffee with over the last year and remind them that you exist (and that you’re looking for a new job). Either the week before Christmas break or the first week back at work after vacation, send a quick email to each of your contacts to wish them a happy holiday season or new year, and let them know what you’ve been up to. If you’ve been good about communicating with your contacts regularly, you can also include a quick reminder that you’re still looking or starting to look for a new job. If you’re reaching out to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while, you probably won’t want to be quite as direct – they’ll probably respond and ask how you’re doing, and then you can bring up the job hunt. Even better, try to set up a catch up meeting in the coming weeks. The cheerful holiday season is the perfect excuse to get back in touch with your network in a non-desperate-sounding way, so be sure to take advantage of it!