Summer is in the air and all you want to do is sprawl yourself out on a beach chair, slurp a fruity, refreshing beverage, and soak up some rays. Your career is the last thing on your mind.
While it's important to take some time for yourself and enjoy life outside the workplace, it's also important to stay on your game. You never know when that life-changing opportunity will present itself.
Here are a few ways you can network over summer vacation (and still enjoy your time off!):
Always Keep Business Cards Handy
It's important to always have a few business cards with you—no matter where you are or what you're doing. If you happen to meet someone at the tiki bar who you think would be an asset to your network, you want to be prepared. Even in the smallest of gatherings, you never know when you may meet someone that could end up being a valuable connection.
If you're a job seeker or your company doesn't offer business cards, you may want to consider getting your own printed with your basic information, especially a link to your LinkedIn profile, where you can continue your networking efforts with the new connection.
If you're not comfortable giving out business cards, you could exchange emails or LinkedIn information. The important thing is to establish a means of communication.
Plan A Family Trip
If you're considering relocating or just want to start building a network in a particular area, consider taking a family trip to that location. Get to know the area, attend local events, and make an effort to meet new people. Don't go into it with an "all-business" mindset though.
Remember, you're on vacation with your family. The focus is on spending your time with them, not making lots of connections. If you can meet one or two locals and build a causal relationship with them, that's a great start.
Take 30 Minutes Each Week To Network Online
Even if your summer may be jam-packed with fun activities, it's likely you will have a half hour each week to spare. Make time each week to attend a virtual networking event for at least 30 minutes. It's not a major time commitment, and the reward could be huge. Not to mention, you can do it while you're sipping on a refreshing cocktail on your patio.
That's one of the great things about virtual networking—you can do it virtually anywhere!
The truth is, virtual networking is the future, so it's important to become good at it! Between remote work and the sheer convenience of it, virtual networking events will be in the majority.
Building your professional network over summer vacation is easier than you think. Follow the networking tips above so you can develop your career while enjoying the summer!
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This article was originally published at an earlier date.
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