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Yes, everything is more laid-back in the warmer weather. Almost everyone’s weekends are filled with social events. There’s everything from family BBQs to company picnics to concerts at the beach. And career-savvy people see these social occasions as opportunities to squeeze in a little networking into their summer. Here are eight ways to work summer events.
Chances are you know your next door neighbor and the crew you generally hang at the beach with. But parties are a chance to meet people outside your immediate circle. Organize a party by inviting ten people and asking each one to bring someone new.
Summer is the time for outdoor exercise. Every week brings 5K’s and fun runs to choose from. If you’re not a runner look for “fun” runs which often encourage walkers to participate. If you’re both there you already have something in common. What better time to connect than when you’re trading stories after the race.
The bigger your family and circle of friends the more of these you’ll attend. Starts off that your friends are getting married and graduating from college, then before you know it you’re friends of the parents. Either way these happy occasions are a great place to network. You never know who you’ll be sitting next to.
Dog parks are especially helpful to folks who don’t have kids. Parents with kids have endless opportunities like carpooling and the playground to meet other parents but if you don’t have kids you can be left out of the neighborhood loop. The local dog part is a great way for you and your four-legged kid to make new friends.
Don’t think of the company picnic as just a day off with pay. Spend time with colleagues besides your BFF’s. This is a chance to get to spend some time with your boss and know people in other departments. Going to your partner’s office function gives you access to a whole new group of people.
A family reunion may not sound like the best way to spend a summer Sunday but if you get invited go. Family is family and you never know when you’ll get the chance to see them again. It’s also a great place to network. You may find that Aunt Amy’s husband’s friend works for the very company you’ve been trying to connect with.
Almost every week during the summer months there’s a local carnival or bazaar. These events are more than an opportunity to eat funnel cake they’re a chance to run into people you may not have seen in awhile. I know someone who made a business connection at a County Fair. You never know.
Yes, vacation is the time to disconnect. Still it doesn’t hurt to have your radar up while you’re sipping cocktails at the bar. This isn’t the time to glad-hand and pass around your business cards. But if you spend several days chatting by the pool you might want an easy way to stay in touch. It’s easy to tuck a few business cards in your wallet.
When most people think of networking they think about attending industry organization dinners and going to job fairs. While those events are designed for networking making connections shouldn’t be limited to times when you’re wearing business attire.
No, this doesn’t mean you need to go to your friend’s wedding with an agenda. It just means being open and ready for opportunities. You never know who will be sitting next to at the table