Mingle your way into your new job this holiday season!

#YourLaunchPlan – Fresh Start & Plumtree Financial have joined forces to provide recent college graduates with a roadmap for professional advancement and financial independence. The nice house and corner office don’t just happen overnight. You need a plan to get from here to there. We can help. Here is the 3rd excerpt from our eBook, ‘5 Universal Truths for Recent Grads” A Step-By-Step Guide for Professional Development & Financial Freedom”.



Are you in year-end survival mode right now? You know what I’m talking about. I’s the chaotic period starting with Thanksgiving Eve and ending on New Year’s Day. Time evaporates and December is gone in the blink of an eye. The entire month is booked solid with family gatherings, holiday celebrations, class reunions, and/or year-end office parties. Or maybe you are deep in the midst of finals and can’t pull your nose out of your text books to even think about Christmas dinner at Grandma’s!

It’s a blur of activity. But it’s also the ideal time to network your way into your 1 st (or next) job. A common phrase in the career coaching world is, “Your network is your net worth!” (Don’t underestimate the power of your network’s network either. Your neighbor’s aunt or best friend’s 2nd cousin may be the missing link to landing that new job. You’ll never know unless you network!)

Did you know that 80% of the job market is hidden and the only way to find these jobs is through good, old-fashioned networking? Did you also know that only 2-4% of jobseekers secure a job using online job boards, but the majority of people spend most of their time on these platforms? There is quite a discrepancy between these statistics that represents a excellent opportunity for the savvy sleuth.

It’s tempting to sit at your computer in your pajamas, binging on your favorite Netflix shows and blindly applying to every job in your zip code as you sip on hot cocoa. But this isn’t going to give you the best return on investment. Not only are you wasting your time, but you are also clogging up the inboxes of the recruiters and hiring managers who are sifting through a deluge of irrelevant applications.

Time to put on your ‘big kid’ pants and get out of your comfort zone. Right now – in the midst of the holiday hustle and bustle – is the best time to do this. It may seem counterintuitive, but let’s dig a little deeper.

It’s all about supply & demand. Kris McGuigan of Professional Courage, explains, “Many companies hire extensively in the last quarter to ramp up for projects in the New Year while sneaking it into this year’s budget. Also, there is an influx of professionals who give notice before the holidays.” Many job seekers don’t take advantage of these factors, which creates a demand for qualified candidates. http://bit.ly/2fMaOOb

Set yourself apart and take advantage of the holiday parties. While you’re at it, here are some helpful tips to maximize your interactions:

  • • Dress appropriately for the occasion.
  • • Be approachable with a welcoming smile and good posture.
  • • Make eye contact and have a firm handshake.
  • • Repeat the person’s name a few times during the conversation to help you remember.
  • • Have a positive attitude. Keep the conversation light and short. Avoid controversial topics.
  • • Bring plenty of business cards and exchange with new connections. Follow up with a short email and/or personalized LinkedIn request within 24-48 hours.
  • • Quality, not quantity – you don’t need to connect with everyone in the room.

Good luck out there! Stay tuned for the next excerpt arriving to your social media feed next week.


Kate Madden, MBA, CPRW is the founder of the Fresh Start brand – Fresh Start Resumes (writing service) & Fresh Start Careers (staffing agency). She is an award-winning certified professional resume writer whose work is featured in 2 books: ‘Modernize Your Resume: Get Noticed …Get Hired” and ‘Modernize Your Job Search Letters”. To learn more about Fresh Start, visit www.freshstartresumes.com, www.freshstartcareersusa.com.

Beth D’Andrea, CFP, is the founder of Plumtree Financial Planning. She is a Certified Financial Planner® with over 20 years of industry experience. Beth provides top quality, independent, fee-only guidance to motivated individuals and families who wish to reach their financial goals. Everyone needs a well thought out financial plan. Visit www.plumtreefinancialplanning.com for more information.