Summertime Networking 101

Summertime Networking 101
Are you ready to sharpen your networking game for the summer season? This is a great time to leverageyour social connections and boost your career while you take in the rays and meet up with friends,acquaintances, coworkers and total strangers. Winter and fall offer cozy fireplace gatherings and holidayshindigs, but the summer means outdoor adventures, beach picnics, rooftop parties and backyard fencechats. Each of these encounters could be the one that leads to your new job…but only if you’re payingattention and making connections where it counts. Keep these tips in mind.

Get out.

Get out there! As in, out of the house. And out of the office. If you have a current job that you don’t likeand would rather relegate to the past, you’re less likely to achieve your goal if you let this dead-end jobswallow your summer whole. If you have vacation and PTO time, use it. Attend social gatherings, familyreunions, casual happy hours, and book club meetings, and don’t put them off because your workdemands your attention. Make the most of the season. People feel more social during the summer andthe more friends and strangers you gather around you, the more opportunities are likely to come yourway.

Speak up.

When people ask what you do, tell them. Even if—and especially if—the answer is “I don’t have a job,but I’m looking.” The summer season usually brings a spike in hiring and business expansion (dependingon the industry in question) and there may be more openings happening around you than you realize.But nobody can help you get onto the inside track if they don’t know that you’re looking. Be honest andforthright and you’ll help others to help you.

Find out what you have to offer.

Relationship building is a two way process. So when you’re engaging in a conversation with someone inyour industry, think about what you have to offer, not just what you have to gain. If someone needs afavor, or a recommendation, or a reference, or some advice, or even some help moving a sofa, show upwhenever and wherever you’re needed. During the job search process, karma can be your best friend. 

Maintain a presence online…but also offline.

Don’t spend the summer sitting inside or staring at a screen. Yes, you’ll need to keep your onlinenetworks active, to a point. But your offline networks can do more for you right now. Include your actualface in as many conversations as you can, and try to use your social media platforms as a merespringboard for arranging real phone conversations or personal contact.

Maximize experiences.

Now is also a great time to take a class, volunteer for a non-profit organization, or lend a hand at a localfood bank, blood drive, or community garden. Again, more experiences can lead to more exposure,which can lead to conversations and relationships. These, in turn, can lead to a general aeration of yourstate of mind and an expansion of your capabilities and your value as a potential employee. Make themost of these long sunny days, and use your time and energy to boost your career and get the most outof life. Visit MyPerfectResume for help.