It is almost summer time, which means you can turn your career brain off and relax for three months, right? Nope. Summer is a great time to network because we have more free time, we meet new people and experience new places, and generally we are much more relaxed.
Use the next few months off of school to make lasting relationships and establish professional connections that can help you in the coming school year.
Here are a few simple tips to help out with networking:
1) Know who you don’t know. Is there a specific person or type of person you need to meet? Maybe an industry expert who works in the field you hope to? Or a creative partner to assist your business mindset?
2) Do your homework. Find opportunities to meet with people. This can be an event specific to networking, a guest speaker at school, or a church function. Do a little background research and see if anyone you want to meet is speaking at a local event.
3) Know yourself and your audience. Now that you know where you are going and who you want to meet, figure out what you want to say. Don’t practice too much though or it will sound forced. Be sure to know who you are talking to as it should dictate how you handle the conversation. Everyone responds differently.
4) Don’t be too shy to ask. To be successful you have to be willing to ask for help. Everyone starts in the same place and the ones who make are the ones who got a helping hand. Asking for someone’s advice about a topic they know well is a great way to get a conversation started. When they respond with specific advice for your situation they become engaged in your success.
5) Do what you say you will do. Follow up with your new connections! Simply meeting new people will not progress your career. You have to hold up on your end of the deal. Don’t wait; follow-up promptly. Be persistent while also being respectful of your new connection’s time.
Networking can be scary at first, but it only gets easier. Take full advantage of the summer and make as many new connections as possible.
Content taken from Inc.com