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PayScale’s VIP Blog Roundup: Avoid These 4 Networking Mistakes at Your Holiday Parties

Topics: Career Advice

During the holiday season, it’s arguably easier to make strides toward your next job than it is to find time to do the one you’ve got. That’s because of all the holiday parties, both work-related and non-, that abound during this time of year. There’s no better place to do a little informal networking than a holiday party – that is, of course, as long as you’ve got your head in the game. In this week’s roundup, we look at the common networking mistakes you should avoid, plus an argument against travel as a resume builder, and some good news for people who aren’t naturally creative geniuses. (Hint: that’s most of us, and it’s OK.)


(Photo: JD Hancock/Flickr)

Emmelie De La Cruz at The Branding Muse: Common Mistakes You Probably Make During Networking Events

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Do you roll your eyes when someone suggests networking your way to a better career? Maybe you’re doing it wrong. For example, does this sound like you?

You sit with your friends.
We all do it, beg our friends to attend events with us so that we have a crutch to hold on to throughout the night. As fear begins to take over, suddenly we are convinced that we are too awkward to talk to others and decide to just stick with the friends we have. If you sit with your friends, there is a strong possibility that you will cling to each other throughout the entire event with little to no interaction with anyone else. If you make the conscious decision to sit in an area where you don’t know anyone or simply just walk around the room, you will be forced to interact with others, start conversations and make new connections. If you have difficulty starting a conversation with a stranger, compliment them on what they are wearing, ask them how they heard about the event or just simply introduce yourself. This shows that you’re confident, polite, and approachable and before you know it, you will be deep in conversation about life, career and even goals.

Find three more totally understandable – but easily avoidable! – mistakes and how to solve them, in De La Cruz’s post.

Penelope Trunk at her blog: Travel Is Terrible for Your Career

Penelope Trunk is not afraid to call it like she sees it, even when her opinion will be unpopular. For example, if you’re a college student who’s planning on traveling after graduation, Trunk wants you to know that it might not be the resume builder you think it will be:

It used to be that if people had no plans for what they were going to do after getting their law degree, they would justify the choice by saying, “Even if I don’t go into law, I can always do something with a law degree.”

The law degree of the new millennium is travel. People think they gain valuable experiences from traveling that will be valuable no matter what field they go into. But it’s simply not true. All experience is not equal. And experience gained from having a job is much more useful experience than anything from not having a job.

Does that mean you shouldn’t travel? Not necessarily. But this perspective might give you second thoughts about featuring your travels so prominently on your resume – or at least inspire you to dig deep to connect your experiences more directly with your professional goals.

Dan Erwin at his blog: Getting Smart About Creativity and Innovation

Is there anything more toxic to innovation than the myth of the creative genius? Dan Erwin explains:

When you’re getting advice about creativity or reading one of the many books about the subject, you need to be careful — very careful — because many, if not most, perpetuate our highly Western, misleading and individualist cultural ways. That typically means that we’re going to have to go digging into our own mindset and belief system to deconstruct and reframe these wrongheaded beliefs if we want to really understand creativity and innovation.

Find out what most of us have wrong about creativity, and how we can adjust our mindsets, in Erwin’s

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Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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