5 Ways to Add Job Development to Holiday Parties

blow up santaDon’t forget to connect with new employer contacts while you’re celebrating the season.  School functions for your children.  Neighborhood carolling. Your spouses’ dull holiday party. Waiting in line for Santa. You never know where you might meet a new refugee employment supporter.

Everyone’s feeling festive, generous and in the holiday spirit. Keep in mind these strategies to make new contacts you can follow-up with in the new year.

1.  Prepare your elevator pitch in advance.   An elevator pitch is a brief description of your work that your mother can understand and that you can say in the time it takes to ride an elevator.  This means no acroynms or industry terminology (think BPRM, ORR, JRC, I-94, MG BLAH BLAH).

2.  Everyone loves a good story.  Our work is fascinating and there are many stories we can share without breaking client confidentiality.  For example, one of my clients was named YO, ELVIS!.  He got a call back for every application he submitted. No personal details revealed, but it always makes people laugh.  Especially when Elvis Presley is singing Blue Christmas in the background.

3.  Keep it light and entertaining.  It is a party, after all.  Focus on getting to know new people and establishing a personal connection.  Once you’ve gotten acquainted and made a good first impression, you can ask them for a meeting in January to talk about your employer services or ask them for additional contacts.

4.  Don’t forget your business cards.  Even if they lose yours in the holiday shuffle, you can keep theirs so you can initiate a second conversation after the holidays.

5.  Be open to meeting all kinds of people.  Sure, that tipsy guy by the desert table looks like he could use your services.  His boss or Dad or next door neighbor might be a potential employer.  The server passing a tray of drinks might go to church with the biggest employer in town.  You never know.

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