By Phyllis Mufson

The holiday season, with its plethora of parties and social gatherings, is a great time to make and renew connections with friends, family, and colleagues. And if you’re in the middle of searching for a new job or career opportunities, it’s also a great time for quality networking!

What is networking?

Networking is developing mutually beneficial relationships to use for information, advice, support, and establishing further connections. If you approach networking with an attitude of giving – offering resources and help to others – you’ll find that your professional relationships will help you achieve your goals as well.

Networking is an essential skill for job seekers. Estimates vary by industry, but the vast majority of jobs are found through networking. An active network will multiply your chances of finding a position by acting as additional eyes and ears, updating you on many more openings than you would hear about on your own. Your network can also help you navigate the ‘six degrees of separation’ and connect you with others who may have or know of job opportunities. Think of your network as your professional safety net.

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