This year has certainly been different than any other.
Many things have changed, including the way we conduct job searching. Here are four ways  job searching, specifically during the holiday season, is different this year and how you can make the best of it to still land your next role during this season and before 2021.

1. No College Buddy Get-Togethers

The holidays are always a good time of the year to catch up with college alumni groups and your college friends at a local watering hole. Well, not this year. It’s disappointing for sure, but don’t forego the opportunity to connect. You can still benefit from connecting with your college friends and new alumni connections safely in the pandemic. Set up a small group (i.e., 2-5 people) who meet outside, in a socially distanced and masked fashion, to rekindle your connection and share your covid-year experiences. If your local health regulations pose a challenge, you can always  do this over Zoom.

2. No Company Holiday Parties

The absence of a company holiday party means managers and employees cannot celebrate working together and everything they accomplished throughout the year. The opportunities to show gratitude and to see each other more humanly are limited. Does this mean no party so no get-together? Not at all. Instead, take things into your own hands and schedule gratitude get-togethers either in person in a safe manner or via online meetings. Make more effort to send handwritten notes (not emails) to show that you enjoyed working with someone this year and appreciate all they have done.
Just because the medium has changed doesn’t mean you don’t have to show humanness. Create that opportunity for yourself and your co-workers.

3. No Neighborhood Events

Again, a lack of local community events can leave you alone in your house devoid of in-person networking opportunities, right? Well, no, if you are committed and creative about making the most of the holiday time. So figure out the right way to connect and stay safe at the same time. It can be done; you just need to take all precautions and plan accordingly.

4. No “Let’s Go Have A Drink” Meetings

Former co-workers often meet during the holidays for a drink to reminisce and informally network. It can be an opportunity to have a one on one deep conversation, but also a chance to meet other people if both parties bring along friends to the get-together. Unfortunately, right now, the “Let’s go have a holiday drink” is not happening for people in most areas. So what should you do?
Think of who you met last year and reach out to them this year for a virtual drink. Make a list of 10-12 people you would love to connect with and invite them to a virtual chat.
Lead with “I know things are crazy and we are being robbed of holiday parties to chat…would you like to set up an informal chat?” and see where it goes. 
The key to holiday networking in a pandemic is to be deliberate and make plans to reach out to people—new and familiar. And then follow through on your reaching-out plan. This year may be different, but it doesn’t have to be unsocial if you put in some effort. These tips should help!


Lisa Rangel