Celebrate the happiness that friends are always giving. Make every day a holiday and celebrate just living.

Amanda Bradley

What a great time of year! Parties, people, food, and cheer – the holiday season is already here! What a great time to be looking for a job. Opportunities abound for giving, networking and making connections.

Often, job seekers make the mistake of thinking they can or should suspend their search until January…until “after the Holidays”. Not so!

What are “the Holidays?” The period from Thanksgiving Day to New Year’s Day and everything in-between for the US. December is packed with all kinds of gatherings! We celebrate with concerts and plays, exhibits and tree-lighting ceremonies, church services and parties. Each is a networking opportunity.

How do you make the best of the holiday network season? Start on Thanksgiving Day –the day we Americans pause from our busy lives to give thanks with friends and family. This year, take this one step further. Make a gratitude list! Write down everything you are grateful for in your life. Recite your list out loud everyday through the end of the year. I invite those from other countries to do the same!

We are rich through what we give. ~ Anne-Sophie Swerchine

Next, start networking by being of service to others. Say hello, be cheery, smile, start conversations, give compliments, and celebrate the season!

Should your job search come up, offer your job spiel. Think about it, how many friends and family do you see in such a compressed period of time? Going about your holiday schedule provides all kinds of opportunities to exchange information.

Here are some reminders of giving any time of year:

Goodies – Give to friends and coworkers here and out of town.

Cards – Include current and former colleagues, friends and family. Wish them well. Let them know you are thinking of them.

Meals – Invite those with no family in the area to join you. Watch the kids so parents can enjoy their meal. Do the dishes to give someone a break.

Volunteering – Join the group delivering food to pantries or shut ins. Work the toy give-away. Give people rides. Serve the less fortunate. Shovel your neighbors walk.

Yourself – Spending quality time listening to someone in need. Give the gift of your time.

When you take time to reflect on all you have, your gratitude grows. Your gratitude propels you to give! When you give, you strengthen your network. That is the gift of networking this Holiday Season.

Make everyday a holiday!

Appreciation is a wonderful thing; it makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.

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Expect good things and they will come.