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How to Network With Family and Friends During the Holidays

Have you seriously considered talking to friends and relatives about career matters? Believe it or not, it can be one of the first big career moves you make. You’ll most likely gain some great insights and maybe even an opportunity or two – try it out!

Granted, networking with your nearest and dearest may feel uncomfortable at first. But, if you don’t yet have a professional network, you almost have to start with people in your immediate circle. Actually, this is a great opportunity for them to start seeing you as more than just a kid out of college, but someone serious about their future goals.

You may feel a bit funny about approaching your uncle Bob in a professional and serious manner. But believe it or not, he can be one of the best people to give you the inside scoop on your chosen field and he’ll likely be flattered that you asked for his advice.


The holidays are the perfect time to take advantage of networking. Here are four tips to get you started:

  • Don’t be afraid to ask. There’s no need to be shy about asking for information or help. If the person you’re planning to speak with enjoys what they do and are kind-hearted, they’ll be happy to give advice and recommendations.
  • Prepare questions in advance. Be curious; show genuine interest in the career paths that friends and family members have followed. If you don’t understand something, know that this is okay and that the best way to become informed is to listen, think, and ask more questions. You’re not expected to know everything; after all, you’re new to this game. People will understand that and be eager to share their knowledge with you.
  • Be clear about what you’re looking for or wanting from them. Let people know that you’re seeking information or ideas and be specific so they know what to give you. If you want to find out about a certain opportunity or maybe even land an informational interview with them or a fellow company member, just come right out and make this known. Sometimes it can be a challenge to get family members or friends to see you in this new and professional light. This is why you have to be even more up-front about what you’d like to happen in your career and how they might be able to help get you started toward that goal.
  • Leave no stone unturned. Even if talking to a certain person seems like a stretch, try it anyway. You never know who they will know and can connect you to. If they don’t know anyone, they’ll tell you that, so you can move on. I suggest casting a wide net. It will help you uncover any available resource.

The holiday time can be a great opportunity to connect with the older generation who just might be seasoned professionals in your field. Before your next family event, do your homework. Ask your parents what their brothers, sisters, aunts, and uncles do for a living. Pose the same question to your best friends.

When you get to the holiday party, be prepared to ask questions of those who have “been there and done that” in your industry… and get ready to make some career connections while learning something new.

Here’s to having a career you love!
Hallie Crawford
Career Coaching