Summer is a time to build new business relationships, make meaningful contacts, and foster relationships. Summer is a great time of the year as it relates to meeting people, going to events, and exploring new opportunities.

 

So, let’s explore what networking really is. According to Merriam Webster’s definition, networking is defined as “the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions specifically: the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business.”

 

“Networking remains the No. 1 cause of job attainment” -Hal Lancaster

 

If you haven’t already started, here are some tips/activities to consider as you begin networking this summer!

 

Tip 1: Think of 5 things that you enjoy and then go meet some new people. People come from various backgrounds, walks of life, and have industry connections that you may not be aware of. You can begin connecting with them by finding common interests that you share!

 

Tip 2: Think Sports!!! Food Festivals, Concerts or even Shopping. Group activities are a great way to meet with others- connecting through a common cause of

getting together, meeting others, and having fun.

 

Tip 3: Connect/Reconnect with your college or university. Connect with professors or staff

members and find out about upcoming events. If you are a current student, connect with

specific student organizations. Check out their website and look at the Calendar of events to find ways to get involved during the summer months. Often offices on campus like Alumni Relations and Institutional Advancement provide listings of meaningful networking events where you can get business contact relations.

 

Tip 4: Volunteer with a charity or industry affiliate that you’d enjoy working with! You’d be

surprised how many connections you can make by meeting people that genuinely

want to help others. Attend a local industry conference and make a concerted effort to

meet at least 5 people you do not know.

 

Tip 5: Reconnect with friends or connections on Social Media Platforms such as LinkedIn,

FaceBook and Instagram. Reach out to others that you have not spoken to in awhile. Let

them know that you are thinking of them…coordinate a meet-up event at a public place.

Share any new experiences and reconnect.

 

Tip 6: Do something non-traditional. Go to a new place or event that you have never done

before…step out of your comfort zone. Participate in a walk or run, workout club, yoga,

zumba, or pliates get out and meet people. Attend a local industry conference and make it

a point to meet 5-10 people that you do not know. Keep the lines of communication open.

 

Tip 7: Bring a friend or relative to an event with a different background than you. You may

attend a poetry reading “open mic or poetry slam” event, watch parties, dancing or bowling, etc.. These types of gatherings can cover an array of topics and allow others to discuss their careers and/or interests.

 

Tip 8: Join a book club or Spiritual/Religious group. Schedule regular meet-ups and have

something definitive to talk about. Have outings with the theme of networking and

making connections.

 

Tip 9: Follow-up with the connections that you have made. This is one of the most valuable

things that you can do through networking. If you brought business cards to any of these

events or event added notes in your phone, indicate how you met and be certain to

follow-up within a week as a reminder of how you met. Try not to have networking

relationships where you only reach out when you want or need something. Just like with

interviewing…make networking a two-way street.

 

Tip 10: Remember the concept of networking and its meaning. Have fun!!! And do the work

when needed. Meet people that you do not know, think outside of the box. Do what you

love and love what you do. All networking is about connecting with people with similar

interests and connecting with purpose.

 

I hope that you have a fun, purposeful and productive summer. Summer is not the time to take off- tap into the possibilities and reap the benefits of your good efforts!!!

 

Written by Celestine McGee

July 10, 2019

Summer Networking