I’m So Thankful for You – Networking Over Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving: a time to give thanks, feast, and – network? While your professional life may not be on the forefront of your mind during the holiday, Thanksgiving can be a great opportunity to nurture your network.

Thanksgiving: a time to give thanks, feast, and – network? While your professional life may not be on the forefront of your mind during the holiday, Thanksgiving can be a great opportunity to nurture your network.

As a career coach, one of the biggest pitfalls I see my clients fall into is neglecting their network. They only make contact when they need a job, which makes the exchange awkward on both ends. This is a shame, since about 55% of all jobs are filled through the “hidden” job market.

This Thanksgiving, I am sending cards to the important people in my professional life not to ask for anything, but just to let them know how appreciative I am of their advice, wisdom, and support over the years.

Join me by following these four easy steps:

1. Make a list!

Think about all of the people who have guided you professionally over the years. This could be a current or former supervisor, a colleague, a mentor, someone you volunteer with, someone you met at a networking event, or even someone you haven’t met but you would like to. Cap your list at a realistic number that won’t overwhelm you.

2. Gather your materials

Choose a card that is appropriately festive but also appropriate. Hint: NO Native Americans . I chose this cute card from Etsy:

Thankful For You - Thanksgiving Card Set - Thanksgiving Cards - Thankful Card - Thanksgiving - Turkey Thankful - Custom Thanksgiving Cards

3. Start Writing!

Your message does not have to be long, but it should be specific. Mention a particular piece of advice that you found helpful or an action that they took that moved you. Let them know why they matter to you and why you are thankful they are in your professional and/or personal life. You can accomplish all of this in 2-3 sentences.

4. Mail them

If you do not have your recipients’ home addresses, mail them to their office. Most businesses will list their address on their website or on Google Maps. If you can’t find a publicly-accessible way to deliver your card, email them and ask for the best place to send it to.

In this email age, handwritten notes really stand out. In five minutes, you’ll nurture your network, spread some holiday cheer, and put yourself in a great position to reach your professional development goals in the new year.

How do you nurture your network during the holiday season? Tweet us at @YNPNBoston or connect with us on Facebook or LinkedIn to share your ideas. 

By: Alyson Weiss, YNPN Boston Communications & Marketing Ambassador | Young Professional Outreach Coordinator & Social Media Specialist at Career Moves – a division of JVS

 
Feature Image: Leaf designed by PJ Souders from the Noun Project


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