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Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Mar 10, 2015 in Job Search
The job-search jungle has long been ruled by members of the cat family. Power and ability to dominate being the foremost reasons, of course. However, there have been sufficient anomalies to prove that securing the most desirable job is not only the prerogative of those having power or resources. It is quite as much within the reach of other members too.
Your job-hunt might have been moving forward on the ‘ideal’ lines, but you aren’t finding returns favorable enough, right?
Well, that does force you into a deep introspection about things that might have gone wrong. Yes, speculating is a human tendency and so is getting hopeless.
An Ivory-billed Woodpecker stands as a great example in such a case. Boring nests in the tree trunk with a short and narrow beak, clearly indicating that with due persistence in one’s kitty, everything is achievable. The Woodpecker might find the tree trunk hard enough to penetrate with a timid beak, but driven by sheer will-power, the incessant taps never go in vain. That’s pretty much what you need to imbibe at the moment. Giving up on a job application and resting your case won’t land you in the workstation you desire. However, the spirit of not giving up definitely would!
Yes, you need to give calls repeatedly, drop messages on LinkedIn, follow the same process with a multitude of recruiters, find referrals and meet people, in short- you’ll have to be an opportunist from the get-go!
Here are some subtleties you can work on and be pleasantly persistent to land in your dream country job.
- Have a Concrete Reason for Contacting
The Woodpecker doesn’t tap the wood without a reason. It cares to bore a nest and is putting all its energy towards it. Likewise, you need to have a specific reason to contact a person during this process. ‘I’m just calling to follow up’ often sounds like a phrase stemming out of formality.
During your first contact, an introduction from a mutual acquaintance or because you read an article the person wrote, come across as legitimate reasons. Once you form a connection, an update on some prior discussion could be the reason to drop a call or schedule a meeting.
- Try and Schedule the Next Few Steps
A key-mistake most of the job-seekers commit after getting a recruiter’s attention is leaving the follow-up, up in the air. Always try to schedule the next chat or meet-up. The least you can try is to get permission to reach out again, within a certain timeframe.
In case you’re given a specific advice to follow at the first instance, reconnecting to give an update on what you did is also a worthwhile idea.
- Be in Touch with Multiple Professionals Rather than One
A Red-cockaded Woodpecker often prefers staying in a group of up to nine during the breeding season. Obviously, the power of a network holds due significance in nature’s every element.
Similarly, you can be in simultaneous touch with more than one personnel in an organization. If you targeted professional isn’t responding, try connecting with someone else.
Always avert being cynical about a person who isn’t being responsive and make sure you don’t spam an entire company.
- Being Explicit Would Work
Chipping off wood, flake by flake is how it goes about building a nest. Yes, perfection does lie in the details and that’s exactly what you need to keep in mind during your job-hunt.
Sometimes, it might just happen that the above strategies don’t work despite your best efforts. Such a situation demands for you to give the person a good enough reason to talk to you and give you a share of his valuable time.
This has worked on multiple occasions and has led the person to apologize for being unreachable. Going into the details and being explicit in your approach makes it hard for someone to believe that you’re annoying. Usually a last-ditch effort, but using this tactic more than once might not be a lucrative avenue.
It’s simply not enough to appear in an interview and waiting to hear back. Employers look forward to people with drive, passion and will-power to secure a job. So, arm yourself efficiently to go the extra mile. Results will surely be in your favor.
This Guest Post was contributed by Anshuman Kukreti. Anshuman is a professional writer and a keen follower of the emirates job market. An engineer by qualification and an artist at heart, he writes on various topics related to employment across the globe. Reach him @ LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+. If you have a great idea for a jungle-themed post, let us know! Guest writers or requests are always welcome!
Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Dec 30, 2013 in Building Confidence
, Self Improvement
Taking a hike in the Job Search Jungle can be a daunting experience, but there are so many people to meet! Put your best foot forward and make your 2014 goal be one of confidence in networking.
Many people find networking a very painful exercise. Why? It exposes us at our deepest level of vulnerability. Executives who are accustomed to controlling a meeting with an agenda can find networking a paralyzing experience because they are planners who have yet to master living in the moment.
One sure fire way to master these skills is to make a plan that you can execute in any situation. In preparing for my upcoming Networking Know How presentation at the National Education Association Leadership Summits in January and February, I found this great article by Shane Parrish, (Farnam Street) on TheWeek.com highlighting Robin Dreeke’s book: It’s Not All About “Me”.
Here are the top 10 points from the book:
1. Establishing artificial time constraints – The first step in the process of developing great rapport and having great conversations is letting the other person know that there is an end in sight.
2. Accommodating nonverbals – You want to look nonthreatening. Smile and make eye contact. How you shake hands matters too – match the strength of the other person.
3. Slower rate of speech – Speaking fast may mean you’re excited, but speaking slowly gives you more credibility.
4. Sympathy or assistance theme – If you’re like most people, you’ve felt a bit of regret when turning down someone seeking help. As human beings, we are biologically conditioned to accommodate requests for assistance.
5. Ego suspension – Put the other individuals’ wants, needs, and perceptions of reality ahead of your own.
6. Validate others – through mindful listening, demonstrating thoughtfulness and honestly understand the other person’s point of view and then build upon that base with your ideas that are not contrary but rather complimentary.
7. Ask … How? When? Why? – Open ended questions require detailed answers; generating two way conversation as opposed to a simple yes or no answer.
8. Connect with quid pro quo – Giving a little information about you will help you engage someone who is either very introverted, guarded, or both
9. Gift giving – This is conversational reciprocation in action. The key is to do this without an agenda. If you have an agenda you’ll come across as insincere.
10. Manage expectations – Underpromise and overdeliver- The surest way to avoid disappointment is to meet expectations.
Purposefully networking to advance your own professional needs is paramount to your success. Mastering the art of networking know how where there is a two way reciprocation and development of a meaningful relationship takes time. Establish trust, be available to others and don’t put your own needs first and your network will ultimately pay off in spades.
So get out there and network!
Posted by Carolyn Thompson on May 22, 2013 in Career Path
, Job Search
, Self Improvement
How to Utilize Social Media Effectively in Your Career
Wolves live predominantly in packs to search for food, raise pups, and defend hunting territory. When a wolf leaves their birth pack, it could be in order to join a new pack that may not have as many members or packs that have better opportunities in the hierarchy. Sometimes the searching wolf may even establish their own pack. If a wandering wolf doesn’t find the right pack, it is usually possible to return to their birth pack. Wolves may cover a large area and travel long distances in search of the perfect fit and it often seems to be a hit or miss process. Social media networking can take much of the guess work out of finding your career pack.
People have always looked for ways to interact with their colleagues in order to develop a way of getting a step above the other competitors in their career. Many social networking websites that represent digital social media like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and others present an excellent way of not only staying close to your friends but at the same time offer various growth opportunities for one’s career. Let’s see how social media can help you in your career by allowing you to stay connected with professionals in the community.
How social media works to boost your career
Websites that focus on maintaining and managing one’s professional networks, like LinkedIn, utilize social networking software and principally work on the concept of managing and gathering multi-tiered contacts. “First connections” are those individuals with whom you have a direct connection, as in a co-worker or friend, and the further tiers, such as second or third connections, are professionals that are in your network sphere as a result of having relationships with your direct connections. An individual needs to become a registered user of the website in order to benefit from it. However, once registration is completed, that person can interact with thousands of professionals of the same or different fields as well as maintaining and managing a chain of direct professional connections.
With such career oriented social media websites one can look at companies in their respective fields and even apply for relevant jobs in order to plan a career move. This can be a great benefit to the individuals who are either looking to move companies or researching the first job in their career. Job seekers and employees are not limited by geographical boundaries, but only their own network. These websites realize the importance of personal branding in a job search and hence, suggest their users develop appropriate profiles which can help them represent their accomplishments, strengths, skills and academics to their potential employers or clients. Developing a personal brand with these social sites can make the professional a more valuable asset for the company they work for, their own enterprise, and for the potential employers as well.
Social media has evolved as a great advancement in social networking that boosts professional networking activities and career management for people in a resourceful manner. This electronic way of person-to-person networking is quite an effective marketing tool, which an individual can utilize to market his/ her professional skills. These social media platforms allow any individual to manage his/her own future and career just with a click of a mouse. These have made the professional connections and interconnections possible which grow into a wonderful professional web community. Not only does it offer career prospects, but professional discussions through forums and groups enable individuals to continue to learn many new things pertaining to their field or career.
The social media platforms have revolutionized career development for self management, personal and professional empowerment, as well as networking. It would not be wrong to say that one can indeed utilize the social media effectively for his/her career as it is a valuable way for building professional brand statement in the long run and for finding appropriate opportunities in their career.
Don’t be the lone wolf wandering aimlessly, research a pack with social media and develop the connections to move forward in your career.
This guest post was contributed by Patrick S. Patrick has been recently employed by a professional research paper writing service at SolidEssay.com, where he helps students fine tune their research papers and other academic work.
If you have a great idea for a jungle-themed post, let us know! Guest writers or requests are always welcome!
Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Sep 24, 2012 in Job Search
With the economy the way it is at present, job searching is getting tougher all the time. As jobs are fewer, competition becomes stronger and you need all the help and advice you can get. Well, there are ways of job searching without having to leave your own home and at times to suit you. One way of doing so is by using apps. Climb the highest tree for the best reception and settle down to view these app stars to help you navigate to a great career.
- Job Compass: This app can tell you what jobs are available within a specific radius and is an ideal way of keeping tabs on any jobs that happen to become available close to where you want to look. This app is perfect if you live in a remote area where jobs aren’t exactly flowing or you aren’t able to commute very far. Another great thing about this app is you can use it when on vacation or traveling; perhaps you like a certain place you visited and like the idea of settling down and getting a job there? A quick check of this app will give you a better idea as to whether it’s viable or not!
- LinkedIn: Now having well over 175 million users, having this great networking tool at your fingertips is a great way to meet people in your field or at the companies where you want to be. Already have a job? Then this app is great for staying ahead when more suitable positions become available in your industry. By connecting with people within your preferred profession, you have a better chance of finding the job to suit you. You can put your entire resume up there and people can read it at leisure and contact you should something come up.
- Resume Tips: This app does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s essentially a guide to completing your resume professionally to the best standard so that it stands out from the crowd when you apply for positions. It gives advice on formatting your resume, as well as targeting it towards individual jobs that you are applying for. Thinking of posting your resume on a job site or sending it to a possible employer? Then this app will help get it looking great before going any further. (editor’s note: For more resume tips, check out Ten Easy Steps to A Perfect Resume.)
- Monster Job Search: This already famous online job hunting site now has an app for both iOS and Android. You can do everything from save your resume on the site to look for jobs around where you live and within a certain radius of where you live. You can be notified as soon as a position comes available and there is a function that helps you edit cover letters.
As the twinkling stars helped to guide many on the right path, these glowing apps are all great additions to your job search. Utilizing these apps may give you a far greater chance of finding the right job, before someone else snaps it up.
This guest post was contributed by Kerry Butters. Kerry contributes this article on behalf of Broadband Genie.
For more job search tips, check out Ten Steps to Finding the Perfect Job.
If you have a great idea for a jungle-themed post, let us know! Guest writers or requests are always welcome!
Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Jun 12, 2012 in Job Search
Things change. Flowers bloom, technology advances, leaves fall, consumer needs and buying habits evolve. Even the way we do business is changing largely due to the emergence of social media which is also threatening conventional job search methods. This may not be a species to save and there are gads of ways to tap in to these emerging trends before the extinction of the traditional wanted ad.
I know we have said this many times on this blog. So, if you’re a job seeker, I’m sure you’ve seen the statistic that 80% of jobs are obtained through personal networking.
It never fails that when a friend of mine is faced with job change, I am one of their first calls no matter what their field of expertise. While this makes sense – I have thousands of contacts and am happy to help them – the first thing I ask is what they are doing to look for a new job. They express how frustrated they are that when they reply to ads that they get no response but that is the only thing they have been doing. Here are a few avenues you can search to gain control over your job hunt so you won’t have to rely on blind luck; which is what you are doing if you are only selectively responding to ads.
In my book TEN STEPS TO FINDING THE PERFECT JOB one of the first points made is that it is fiscally impossible for companies to professionally advertise and post every job they have open. They would go broke! It’s expensive to advertise on even the most common job seeker sites. If an employer is looking for hard-to-find people (programmers, DBA’s, tax, audit, etc.), many times the right people aren’t responding so the companies stop advertising and look to referral methods.
To tap into that network of unadvertised jobs you have to do some research. Who would have needs for you and your skill sets? Classified employment advertising is a great place to get leads even if the job advertised isn’t perfect for you. For example, if you are a Hyperion System Administrator, looking for companies that post other positions requiring Hyperion skills on their websites or on job boards would make that company a target of yours. Why? Because they, at some point, will need a person like you and the employees there who use Hyperion know other former employers and co-workers they can refer you to as well.
Remember, finding a job is all about timing so expanding your network when the timing is right can be tricky. Adopting a constant approach to networking is a better plan than waiting until you are desperate. People find it easier to help you when there isn’t a crucial deadline to be met. Setting a goal of reaching out to a new person every day, as an example, that you have something in common with on LinkedIn is a great way to expand your on line presence and profile. To expand your sphere of personal influence, you have to network online, professionally and personally.
Your LinkedIn profile should be peppered with appropriate keywords indicating the work you would like to be contacted about. Professional networking via industry conferences, association meetings ,and other business groups organized around geography (like the chamber of commerce) are great places to meet people that can help you uncover unadvertised opportunities.
People ask me all the time about Twitter. If you look for #jobs you will see thousands of jobs popping up every day that you can link to on Twitter. If you Tweet, make sure your profile, again, has all the keywords you want to be found for in it.
Be mindful of the companionship you keep on line. This past week someone was recommended to me as a person who was influential via social media but when I looked at this person’s profile I saw something different. The posts from their “friends” and “followers” were littered with profanity, slang and were generally unprofessional. We can’t control what others are posting but we can monitor it and remove it so, if you are looking for a job, you want to make sure you look as professional on line as you are for an interview.
Embrase the extinction with these new ways of job searching.
Wildfires are unexpected and devastating to the forest but recovery is never impossible. Twice in the past week two people I know very well were fired from their jobs. In both cases, they were told it was for cause and due to performance, or lack thereof. However, neither person was on a “work plan” or hadn’t been given any sort of formal warning. Both are now left nursing unexpectedly shattered egos and holding a bag of bills to be paid.
For them, and for the other readers out there who were recently fired, I thought I would jot a few pointers on how to take some of the burn out of getting fired:
1 ) Give yourself a day to grieve. Let’s face it, this is a shock and you’re mad about it. It’s not fair and you were treated poorly. Once your day of grieving is over, it’s over, and you are moving forward. You and only you can take charge of your destiny. It’s easy to get sucked into negativity so make a conscious effort to not wallow in your misery. Focusing on what you liked about your work and what you are looking for in your new job is a great way to overlook the negative aspects of what just happened.
2 ) Ask yourself what you could have done differently. You have all heard me say this a million times, but the root of all conflict is unmet expectations. What expectation of your former employer were you not meeting? And be honest! There are two sides to every story and if you were fired for cause there is something you did (or didn’t do) that didn’t meet their expectations. Figure out what you could have done differently so that you don’t make the same mistake twice. But don’t beat yourself up about it. Just recognize that might be an area of personal growth and work on it so the same situation doesn’t happen again.
3 ) Get your resume together and show that you are available for work immediately. As unemployment continues to drop, contract and temporary opportunities are on the rise so make sure people know you can start a project or full time job right away. If you need help with your resume, grab a copy of TEN EASY STEPS TO A PERFECT RESUME from Amazon. It will really make the process a lot easier for you.
4 ) Find someone to be a reference for you from your previous job. A lot of people get fired and find out it was a blessing in disguise since they end up moving on to much better positions. The best reference is always a former supervisor and when you’re asked to leave, a former supervisor who has also left is a great person to use as a reference. You can also reach out selectively to people with whom you had good working relationships and ask if they are willing to serve as a personal reference. Many companies have a firm “no reference” policy if you can’t identify an ally who is willing to verify your talents, skills, and employment in your list of former co-workers. How about a vendor you worked with or supplier that you serviced?
5 ) Post your resume on line and make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date with a status update stating you are looking for work. When you are working with recruiters, it’s important that you don’t displace your personal pressure onto them to perform miracles for you. Maintaining a positive story with as little drama mixed in will make your recruiters work harder for you in the long run. They don’t want to hear another sob story so focus on your strengths and what you want to do so they can really help you out.
6 ) Make a list of companies that you are interested in working for that hire people with your skill sets. A little Googling goes a long way here. Search skill sets, certifications, and industry experience in addition to job titles. This will open up a whole new list of companies you wouldn’t have discovered if you only search for job titles. This and other tips are discussed in TEN STEPS TO FINDING THE PERFECT JOB.
7 ) Start networking. Go through the companies on your list. Know your two sentence description of who you are and what you are looking for so you can let anyone who will listen or read know what your abilities are. 80% of jobs are obtained through networking so get out of your comfort zone and meet people. LinkedIn is an amazing tool that you can reach out to people through. Ask politely for selected professional referrals. Don’t connect with people you are about to interview with or have just interviewed with – that can be uncomfortable for them. Still look them up and see what you might have in common with them so you can discuss it when you meet.
8 ) Prepare for your interview by practicing your answer to why you left your last job first. No one wants to come out and say, “I was fired.” How about, “Unfortunately, my role had evolved and my former employers’ needs changed from when I started so my skill sets were no longer a match. I was sad to leave but I’m glad that it opened a door for me to be able to meet with you today about new opportunities.” It’s imperative that you turn the negative situation into a positive step into the future. It’s ok to admit you have things you are working on to improve and the self realization in and of itself is a step in the right direction.
9 ) Set a schedule to keep yourself busy. Don’t change your routine drastically because you lost your job. Just replace those hours you would have been working with your job search. Keep up your gym schedule, kids schedule, etc. as much as your finances will allow. Use every opportunity you can to network with people asking professionally for referrals.
Listen, many of us have been in this position, so know that you’re not alone. Apply for unemployment and create an executable job search strategy. I know you feel you’ve been treated unfairly but think twice (or three times…) before considering legal action against your former employer. Most states are at will and the only person who gains from suing your old employer is your attorney. Unless you have the financial ability to front 50K in legal fees, just move on because the employee rarely wins.
And one last thing…what goes around comes around. The people that let you go will likely get let go themselves someday and probably be unemployed a lot longer than you now that you’ve laid the groundwork for your success!
Check out these links for more useful tips:
Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Feb 1, 2011 in Job Search
The ant is one of the most social creatures on the planet. As the saying goes: there is never just one. When you see an ant, you know there are at least hundreds, if not more, nearby. They are found on almost every continent. Their success in so many environments has been attributed to their social organization and their ability to modify habitats, tap resources, and defend themselves.
Over the past few years, I have successfully obtained both candidates and clients from Facebook, one of the leading social networking sites. My team is nearing the 100 mark for transactions closed in some way shape or form from my social media strategy.
I recently placed another hard-to-find person I located by scouring Facebook for keywords. As I sat across the table having lunch with this person who had just started their new job, I was overwhelmed with the power of this particular social media. He was so grateful that I had reached out to him. We chatted on and on about each other’s families, personal interests, and recent activities because we had a lot of knowledge about each other before we met. The conversation flowed naturally like it was someone I’d known for some time when, in fact, barely two weeks had passed since my first invitation to connect on facebook and their first day on the job. This incident really drove home how powerful your personal profile is, or can be.
I met with a Pinnacle Society colleague this week as well and was recounting this accomplishment. My story was met surprisingly with some hesitation on her part to put herself out there in cyberspace. I never really worried about the dangers of on-line interaction. I mean, look how many people meet and marry their spouses on-line. Why not harness that power to attract candidates and clients both?
Remember in Meet the Parents, Robert DiNiro talks about the inner circle of trust? How can you create an on-line persona that allows people to feel like they are in the inner circle of trust without sacrificing your personal privacy? How much do you give up to cyberspace?
· Mix personal and professional
o Just like people who are very organized keep one calendar that includes their personal and professional appointments so nothing slips through the cracks, putting a little of both out there gives people a real sense of who you are; what types of jobs you work on and what activities you are involved in.
· Don’t rant and rave
o I am always amazed at the profanity and negativity people post on their pages. Keep it light, professional and positive. After all, this is how people will ultimately form impressions of you, so if you see things with the glass half empty, you might consider visiting the sink for a fill up before typing.
· Post regularly
o I know I find myself browsing postings when I’m bored, at the airport, or just to fill a few minutes. There’s nothing more boring than to read someone’s profile that is filled with dribble. Make it interesting, but not over the top.
· Reach out
o Use keyword searching techniques to link with those within your niche. This will directly impact how well and how many people you reach people with your postings. Invite them to connect with a brief note as to how you found them and why you are reaching out to them for their assistance or participation in your project.
· Create your own social media strategy
o Who do you want to connect with and why? What’s in it for them?
· Consider your personal safety when posting your whereabouts
o This is one thing I am very careful about. I promote appearances and speeches but don’t generally advertise when I’ve arrived for a spa day or gym workout somewhere. Posting your gratitude to the establishment after your treatment is one way to handle promotions about your activities without sacrificing personal safety.
If you were an ant in a colony, you would only be as strong and successful as your peers made you. Just like the Ant, whether you are using Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or other social media, the more the merrier!
Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Nov 17, 2010 in Job Search
For professionals seeking employment at any level, the holidays shouldn’t be the time when you put your job search on hold until next year. Waddle down to the local ice flow, put on your winter tux and socialize! Many people have the attitude “I’ll get started after the first of the year” with a resolution to work harder, but the holiday season is a great chance for you to slide in to job openings as those hibernating species create less competition.
Statistics provided by CareerBuilder.com show that job seekers slow down their search in December, but get back into gear in January creating almost 20% more unique searches with only a 5% increase in job posts than in December. Hiring authorities are scheduling interviews and making hiring plans for the New Year right now!
All dressed up and nowhere to go? How about a holiday party?
For those of you out of work, this should be an opportunity to expand your network. People who are currently working are there to blow off steam, relax, and socialize, so you don’t want to be too aggressive, but take advantage of this time to meet new people to tap into for referrals.
Before you go:
When you RSVP, call the host/hostess instead of emailing and ask who else might be attending and if he/she knows where they work. Remember: knowledge is power- look up the other guests on LinkedIn and connect prior to the party. You can say in your LinkedIn invite, “looking forward to seeing you at so-and-so’s party next week. I’d like to add you to my LinkedIn network.”
In social situations reaching out to attendees in advance may open a door for a conversation you wouldn’t have otherwise had by gaining familiarity prior to meeting them in person. Being able to strike up a conversation quickly will set you apart from the other guests.
As with any networking, knowing your unique value proposition before you leave the house in your finest business-casual duds is important. Practice in the mirror before you go. Smile and take mints and business contact cards with you as well as pen and paper to write contact info and names.
While you’re there:
Most professionals don’t carry business cards with them in social settings so be prepared to offer yours and make sure you take notes of who to follow up with after the party.
Have fun and fit in. Having a glass of water between wines will keep you hydrated and ensure you’re not consuming too much alcohol to make a good first impression. Remember- the first impression is a lasting one so make sure you appear professional even in a casual, relaxed holiday setting. Eat prior to the party so you aren’t sidling up to a potential employer with a full mouth.
People like to talk about themselves so be prepared with a list of questions you can ask that could lead into work related conversation.
“So, how do you know the so and so’s?” or “How did you meet the so and so’s?”
Many times people are at parties and don’t know the hosts. You can move into
“Oh, well, I know them from XYZ. So, what kind of work do you do?”
People are often more inclined to help during the holiday giving season so there is no reason to wait until after the holidays to reach out and follow up with someone. Remember, if you link with them on LinkedIn, you can see their email addresses so you don’t have to ask for it. Sending your resume with a thoughtful cover letter about why you are interested in their company and asking for referrals is appropriate. If you don’t have the email address, send them a hard copy of your resume and cover letter via USPS Priority Mail.
Also, make sure you send your host/hostess a thank you note by mail or email, whatever you prefer. You can mention your job search after thanking them for hosting such a great event and that you’d appreciate them forwarding your resume onto people as they see fit or to specific individuals you haven’t been able to reach personally.
Other places you can meet professionals during the holidays:
• Soup kitchen/homeless shelter Thanksgiving dinner service
• Canned food drives
• Coat drives
• Church events
• Toys for tots
Party hearty this holiday season and learn from the penguins, the coolest socialites around!