View Mobile Site

Ask the Expert

Signal Photos


Nancy Karas: Christmas cheer for careers

Posted: December 5, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 5, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Whether you’re job hunting or looking to advance your career, don’t stay home this holiday season. Attend company parties and accept invitations from clients/vendors, community groups, associations and charities. All provide ideal opportunities for networking.

People are more social and approachable in a relaxed and festive setting, so meet people whom you couldn’t otherwise access.

Movers and shakers

Not the people with lampshades on their heads, on the dance floor with a cocktail in each hand. Those movers and shakers regret their moves the next morning. Choose decision-makers, people who are successful and happy, people who make things happen.

Select three people you can really learn from. Networking allows you to gain visibility and build relationships. Top management is usually present; use the opportunity to introduce yourself and connect with them.

Do your homework

Use Google, LinkedIn and company websites to read the bios and profiles of people you’d like to meet. Note their interests and accomplishments; find a common bond.

Introduce yourself. Thank management for the party. Express your interest and knowledge of the organization and your willingness to volunteer or participate. Build some trust and pave the way for you to have further contact down the road. A holiday party is not the appropriate time to whip out your resume or begin a lengthy monologue about your career goals and accomplishments.

Find a way to help

Make the conversation meaningful. Offer something to the person you want to develop a relationship with. Volunteer, introduce them to someone, or invite the person to something. It’s always easier to ask for help from people who already appreciate you and your contributions.

Dress for success

This is a work-related activity. What might look good or feel good at night may not look or feel as good in the morning as you pass by everyone on the way to the water cooler. Keep attire work appropriate.

Don’t ruin the night

The office party is not the place to let loose. Drinking too much in a business setting is a mistake. You can greatly embarrass yourself while others stand around and watch in horror as another associate implodes his or her career.

Never flirt with bosses, co-workers or your own staff and be mortified the next morning, when you have to face co-workers, bosses or employees with whom you’ve crossed the line because of too many cocktails downed at the company bash.

If a fellow employee is intoxicated, please get him or her some assistance. Alert security to help get the inebriated employee home.

Follow up

Develop a great connection, and then follow up. Maintain the new connection. Take a person’s business card, make notes and remember key conversations or points made on the back.

Follow up within a few days of the event to develop this new relationship. Send a hand-written note or forward an article pertaining to the conversation you had. Send a note thanking senior management or the host and strengthen your new connections.

Holidays can be a tough time of the year. Turn the end of your year into a productive and fruitful experience. Events take on a whole new meaning and lift your spirits when you have a networking goal. Use these events as a golden opportunity to advance your career.

Nancy Karas is a Santa Clarita resident and transitioning-coaching and career-management specialist. She has 20 years of corporate business expertise and more than 15 years of coaching experience through her private practice. She holds an M.S. in Human Resources Management from The Milano Graduate School of Management and Urban Policy, at the New School University in New York City. Her column reflects her own views and not necessarily those of The Signal. Nancy can be contacted at 661-309-7055 or by email is


Most Popular Articles

There are no articles at this time.
Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.


Powered By
Morris Technology
Please wait ...