We talk a lot about the importance of networking, and here we are at the threshold of what might be your ultimate opportunity: holiday meals with the family.
"What?" you say, "There aren't any important employers in my family!" But, of course, there are. Your aunts and uncles work, and they have colleagues. So do your parents, friends of your parents, and nearly all the neighbors. What better group could there be? They like you already, and they're all rooting for you to finish college and get a job.
The only real problem is that they still know you as that cute little kid who threw up after eating too many hotdogs at the family picnic one year. What on earth could make them think of you as a bright, college-educated person with great potential?
The answer is your own self-introduction. It's time to move up from the kids' table, put on some grown-up clothes, and start re-introducing yourself to all the professionals in your life. You might have actually changed your name--lots of cute nicknames get lost when kids become college students--but either way, you're a very different person than you were even a couple of years ago. It's time your family circle got to know the new you.
Brush off that One-Minute Pitch or Elevator Pitch that you practiced for the Professional Readiness Program. Tweak it so that works for the holiday gatherings. You probably aren't actively job hunting, so you'll remove those points. Your family is more interested in general career plans and campus activities. The main thing is to re-brand yourself as a capable young adult....then let the conversation continue on a whole new level!
You might discover those boring old relatives actually have a lot of cool jobs, professional savvy, and great advice!
To review some of the materials from your PRP sessions, click here.
For more tips on networking with family members, take a look at this article from the Daily Muse (another excellent professionalism blog!)