The holidays typically come with an uptick in charity work and more opportunities to help families in need or to volunteer at a food pantry with holiday meals. First and foremost, volunteer work should always be about helping others, but that doesn't mean you can't make some great connections while you're at it.
You can also combine your volunteer work with industry work, "Volunteering can work well if you can leverage the networking opportunities while doing the actual volunteer work within the industry that you are searching for a job in. Volunteering for something like Hour of Code during Computer Science Education week in December would be a good move," says Richardson.
Myers says that, in addition to potentially making new professional connections, volunteering is also a way to boost confidence. If you've been trying to get a new job for a while helping others is a great way to "feel good when you need a boost, to have a renewed sense of purpose during your search and to meet other professionals."
Pick up the phone
Typically, during this time of year, offices are quiet as employee's cash in on their vacation time to get a few more days off around the holidays. But for offices that don't completely shut down, it means there are still some employees left working during what is considered a slow time for most businesses. Myers says that this combination is what makes it a great time to connect with people and reach out about prospective jobs.
Myers gives an example of one colleague who was starting a new business and needed to get the word out, so the day after Thanksgiving, she got on the phone to make follow-up and sales calls. "She found that whoever was at work that day was not only available for a conversation, but was grateful to speak to someone," he says.
It's also a great time of year to connect with recruiters, either by phone or email, says Richardson. They're finishing up year-long projects and starting to wind down before the new fiscal year, so they're ultimately less busy, which he says makes them "easier to reach." Staying on top of your connections this time of year might mean they're more responsive, with more time to chat.
Send holiday cards
If you've ever received a holiday card from your pet's veterinarian or a birthday card from your dentist, you might already be familiar with this idea. Myers says that the holidays are a great time to send out cards to "everyone on your list." That includes human resource executives, hiring managers you've worked with over the last year and recruitment or search firms that you have worked with.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.