Wednesday, December 9, 2015

5 Ways to Cultivate Your Network Over the Holidays

The end of the year is approaching and you likely have a lot to do before taking some time off over the holidays. Without adding to your stress here are 5 ways to cultivate and enhance your network over the next few weeks.

1. Attend that holiday party. Yes, sometimes the company party seems like a waste of time and you're tempted to skip it or make a brief appearance. Resist that temptation. The company party is a good opportunity to develop deeper relationships with others in your company as you likely will have a chance to talk about more than just work. Going beyond the superficial discussion of projects can enhance the relationships with those you work with and provide new career opportunities in the future. And, at the holiday party, you just might get some time to talk with the company president or CEO.

2. Send a card to your top 5 business associates. If your company uses freelancers or vendors for any part of the business be sure to send a card of thanks to the most important ones you work with. Personalize the card and use it as an opportunity to strengthen the relationship you have. You never know, you just might want to contact one of these vendors or freelancers for a job in the future.

3. Smile and bring some joy to your coworkers. Build on your relationships with coworkers by having a positive attitude over the holiday. By smiling and being positive you can help to reduce the stress your colleagues might be experiencing. Some holiday cookies might even help too!

4. Send an email of thanks to your colleagues. Think about some of your colleagues and co-workers and consider those who have helped you in some way over the past year. It's unlikely you're a lone ranger so you probably depend on support from many others in your company. Prepare a brief email of thanks for some of these partners and you'll likely make their day and strengthen your relationship with them.

5. Send a note of good wishes to new contacts. Have you attended a conference or networking event during this past year? Perhaps you've started doing business with another company or vendor. If so, take a few minutes to send a note of reintroduction, extending well wishes for a happy holiday and new year.

If you spend a few hours implementing some of the ideas above over the next few weeks you'll likely strengthen your network and deepen your friendships, helping you enjoy your job and career even more.

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