With the summer months getting into full swing, you may find your typical workload and schedule easing up. While this is an ideal time to re-charge and reset for the second half of the year, it is also the perfect time for you to kick it into high gear in one particular area — networking!
Networking alone can send a shiver down your spine, but taking advantage of summer opportunities can ease some of the pressure that’s often attached to the process. Everyone tends to be more social during the summer, so now is the perfect time to step outside of your comfort zone and make new connections.
Unsure of where to begin? Here are four ways to get into the swing of summer networking:
Attend an event for a charity you’re passionate about
When it comes to networking, you shouldn’t limit yourself to events hosted by industry-specific or career-oriented organizations. If you want to make a move outside of the box, find a charity or cause you’re passionate about and network with other professionals who share the same interests as you. For many nonprofit and charity organizations, the summer months are when their annual galas and largest fundraisers are held. If you’re unable to make either of these, don’t worry! There will likely be multiple fundraising events throughout the summer for you to attend if you miss out on the big ones.
Don’t count out neighbor + family get-togethers as networking opportunities
Sure, you may not want to talk about work when you’re at a family reunion or a Fourth of July BBQ, but it is highly likely that it will come up at least once. Should it happen, don’t take this as your cue to tune out of the conversation. Instead, listen to what the person has to say. They may have a lead on a job opportunity you may be interested in pursuing, or they could be a solid mentor for you to go to.
Say ‘yes’ to happy hour
If you aren’t a consistent happy hour-goer throughout the year, the summer is a perfect time to get into the groove of stopping by bars with co-workers. With the warmer months ahead, people who wouldn’t normally go to happy hour during the year will make more of an effort to go and socialize. Chances are you won’t be the only person with this strategy in mind! As a result, there will more than likely be ample opportunity for you to make connections with colleagues you don’t get to normally socialize with. If you’re looking for a low-pressure networking environment, this is an ideal space for you!
Consider adding business-related stops on your vacation schedule
You may be at a point in your career where relocating is something you could see for yourself. If this is the case, you may want to use some of the time you’ve allotted for traveling this summer to explore a city you’d be interested in working in. Taking an extended weekend so you can see what both a weekday and weekend in a particular city looks like can give you a better overall picture of what your life would look life if you were to move there in the future. Plus, you’ll also be able to see a new city you may not have thought to travel to otherwise!