Networking sounds like a lot of work. New people to meet. Old connections to refresh. But what if it isn’t work, but instead doing what God has already called us to do? To “be in community”. The Bible speaks of community at length (1 John 1:7, Gal. 6:2, Prov 27:17, Rom 1:11-2) both for spiritual and practical purposes.
During the Christmas season, there are tremendous opportunities to be united in the body of Christ just by being in community. The holiday season is also an opportunity to show the world your skills, abilities, and passions.
Volunteering is a fantastic way to demonstrate your talents. As a volunteer, you have the ability to serve the Lord and to show the body of Christ what you are capable of achieving. Start with researching causes that you care about and learn how you can help in those areas. Two good places to start would be your local church and your local community.
Is your church in need of ushers, janitorial staff, parking attendants, greeters, food staff, or caregivers? Volunteer! During this time of service, be quick to lend a hand when one is needed, serve as if you are serving the Lord, and treat those around you with dignity and respect. People of all walks of life serve the Lord. Here would be a good time to be honest with those around you about your goals, aspirations, dreams, and needs because you never know who might be able to help you make a connection to a company that’s in need of talent. If you haven’t started forming a community of contacts in your local church, the holiday season is the time to do so. If you already have, this is the time to expand that community.
There will also be numerous local community events where you can lend a helping hand. Look for causes that you care about, whether that be a local food bank, homeless shelters, volunteer Christmas light display work, or even a community Christmas play.
Be on the lookout! Especially for events that are sponsored by a company that you’re interested in. Many companies sponsor toy drives, community meal events, and other events to give back to the community. These events bring employees, executives, and their families together in one place. Volunteering at these events could be very valuable. Make a real attempt at connecting with someone from the company sponsoring the event. This is where that practiced 30-second elevator speech from WorkFaith’s 5-Day Workforce Development Training will work wonders! A 2016 LinkedIn study showed that “70% of people were hired at a company where they had a connection.” Company-sponsored community events give you the opportunity to demonstrate your skills, personality, work ethic, and perhaps even make a friend who can help you get far. When you view networking as an opportunity to be in community with people who share your mission, goals, and values, it feels a lot less like work and more like fun. Feel empowered to make your aspirations and dreams known while you network over the holidays and the next event that you attend could land you your next career.
Author: Jeffery K. Archer, Jr.
Jeff Archer has been a WorkFaith volunteer since 2016. He is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma Price School of Business and has worked in a variety of military and private sector roles. He regards himself as a young cattle rancher who went to college to avoid working so hard. Jeff started his professional career in energy after deploying to Afghanistan in 2012. He is a member of Grace Bible Church in Houston, Texas and a stark advocate for helping the underprivileged get back to work.