Summers are filled with cookouts, poolside tanning, vacations, and networking.
Networking? That doesn’t fit in with the “fun in the sun” motto.
We’ve all heard it. “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” When trying to advance your career, networking can be key. Over summer, there are ample chances to network; however, not knowing the do’s and don’t can hurt your opportunities.
“Where do I look?”
There are plenty of events happening every day to check out.
- Alumni Association gatherings and functions
- Everyday family events- cookouts, kids baseball games, etc.
- Join a meetup.com group or committees to meet other like-minded individuals
- Check out convention centers and charity events
- Volunteer at places that interest you
Even when you know where to look, it is important to be able to read a room and network casually. A hard-working business person hanging out at his/her kids’ games might not want to talk shop, but instead, they want to enjoy their family moments. Don’t be pushy and “in their face.” Learn about them by asking questions. Building a relationship is essential. When there is a solid relationship background, networking becomes a breeze.
Many times, networking opportunities come from moments that are unexpected. Strike up a conversation with the mom you sit next to at your child’s baseball game, introduce yourself to the people you don’t know at the neighborhood cookout. Keep a business card and pen on you always. That way, when an opportunity presents itself you’ll be ready.