Now that the semester is over and summer is approaching, it’s time to put yourself in the best positions to secure the future you envisioned. As we all know, networking is extremely important to putting yourself in the best spots, whether you’re looking for a job or already have one.
The big question is how do we go about it exactly – especially in the summer when people are vacationing or working on their own brands. Believe it or not, it’s easier to network in the summertime than any other season. This is because the weather is nice and just like you want to be outside enjoying the sun, so do your potential business connections.
It’s important to leverage your contacts and expand your network. There are several ways to stay connected and build your connections aside from the common LinkedIn.
Some of these ways may not seem like networking opportunities which is why we tend to skip out on them a lot, for example, BBQs and pool parties can provide you with valuable networking opportunities.
You never know who you might meet at one of these shindigs – especially if it is business related.
Summertime is also a time for alumni association meetups and rooftop professional mixers. When attending any one of these events, it is important to know how to read the room and build relationships. Most of the time, the people at these events are looking to unwind and have a good time. Not be bombarded with you narrating your resume to them .
There are websites that are also dedicated to linking you to potential networking events. The easiest one is Eventbrite. Eventbrite gives you an option to search events based on the category you are interested in pursuing.
Attend as many networking events as possible and go out there and make a good impression.
Join a Local Community
Joining a community can also help bring forth contacts you would never have thought you would have. Your favorite search engine is your best friend in this case. Just type in your field of interest with ‘professional networking community’ after it to get useful results.
Meetup.com is a commonly used website where it’s easy to search for groups in your area. It makes meeting like-minded people simple. You can try to find people who have similar interests in the same industry as you or discover a group that focuses on something you would like to learn more about.
Happy hour is a great way to take the contacts you already have and strengthen those relationships. So, invite that contact out for happy hour while keeping it friendly, casual, and in a group setting.
An important note is to NEVER get drunk with someone you hope to conduct business with or use as a connection. Also, never jump in on business talk right away. This is a time for both of you to relax and discuss whatever you want. Wait for the conversation to head in that direction.
Networking to keep your career headed in the right direction shouldn’t take summers off. Figuring out how to network in the summer doesn’t mean booking your summer full of tedious networking mixers. Let your hair down, relax and use some of these fun ways to meet a few new people or grow the relationships you’ve already started.