Can you believe it’s almost the end of December? Time has FLOWN by! I have no idea where this year went. Seriously. As holiday parties kick off, classes wrap up, and the holiday spirit and cheer takes over; don’t let your job hunt take a backseat. (Actually, you can take a break from actually applying–everyone needs a breather–but there are other opportunities that the holidays create that you should take advantage of.)
Ask and listen
Holidays are the sometimes the only time of the year where the whole family and extended family all get together. Whether you’re a “the more the merrier” type or a “I’d rather camp out in my room” type, this is a great opportunity for you to actually find out what your family members do.
You know that second cousin your mom always talks about? The one who lives on the west coast and works for some technology company? That cousin could actually be in the recruitment department for a Fortune 500 company that you’re interested in working for. How about your crazy uncle with whom the only contact you’ve had is the lone postcard he sends you every year from his latest trip—do you actually know what he does other then travel all the time? Chances are that you’re going to be put in a social situation with family members for an extended period of time: work it to your advantage. Ask them questions, listen to their answers, and get a feel for careers you may be interested in or connections who could help you with your search.
As much as you ask and listen to what your family members are doing, be sure to share the latest on you as well. Every time I go home and see my cousins, I’m surprised to hear that they’re starting middle school…and then high school! Soon enough they’ll be going away to college. (Though they’ll always be babies in my eyes.) Chances are your cousins and aunts and uncles may remember you as the 5-year-old who used to run around the house with a water gun and not the 21-year-old who is graduating this year and looking to get their first job. Tell them what you’re doing and what you’re looking for. All of them may not fully understand, but you never know when you’ll meet someone who does and can help you.
Holidays only (thankfully?) come once a year, but don’t let a year pass you by before you reconnect with your aunt whose best friend is the CEO of a company you have your eye on. With email and cellphones and social networks, keeping in touch is easier now then it has ever been! If you think a family member might be able to help you, ask for contact information and have follow-up conversations.
Whether or not you’re looking forward to the holidays, there are hidden opportunities for you to grow your network and expand your reach. You never know, that conversation over the dinner table might lead you to your dream job. Happy Holidays!
Sejal is a Recruitment Marketing Project Manager at Intel. She is part of the team that is responsible for Intel’s global employment brand. This team helps connect candidates with Intel and Intel with candidates using channels such as the Jobs at Intel web site, the Life at Intel microsite and other Web 2.0 channels. Sejal specifically manages theJobs at Intel Blog and Intel’s recruitment Facebook strategy. Originally from Toronto, Ontario (yes—a real, breathing Canadian!), Sejal graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with her Bachelor’s in Communications before starting at Intel in 2008. When she’s not working, you’ll find Sejal working at crossing things off of her Bucket List (which includes skydiving, reading 1000 books and traveling the world), eating cupcakes or spending time with family and friends. To learn more about opportunities with Intel, visit intel.com/jobs, follow Intel on Twitter @JobsatIntel or check out the Jobs@Intel blog!