“It’s summertime and the living’ is easy,” composed George Gershwin with lyrics by DeBose Heyward. Easy with barbecues, parades, picnics, baseball games, festivals and outdoor movie screenings.  And easy to advance your career with so many events to attend and so many people to meet and greet.

Here are some networking tips to keep in mind while you’re out and about this summer:

  1.  Know the playing field.  Make sure you dress for the situation so you’ll be in place rather than out.  You might want to carry a duffel bag in the back of your car filled with athletic shoes, flip flops, shorts, T shirt, swimsuit, etc. so you’re always “ready.” As much as possible, try to know who will be there and whom you might want to meet.  Remember first impressions and SHE…Smile, Handshake and Eye contact.
  2. Utilize social media as much as possible.  Get and keep your self noticed on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.
  3. Make sure you have a couple of business cards handy.  I carry business cards wherever I am, even when carrying a backpack or fanny pack.  You never know.
  4. Host your own event.  We put together a wine and cheese for all the mountain hiking regulars recently.  In recognition of my planning skills, I was hired to put together a small event for a firm’s international clients who attended a conference here.
  5. Volunteer for a non-profit that works in one of your passion areas such as dog rescue, musician outreach to nursing home residents, home remodeling for disabled vets, etc.  You’ll meet new contacts, learn new skills, showcase your talents, give back to the community and create a new gateway for yourself to people you’ve not yet met.
  6. Join a meet-up or networking group that shares your interests or gives you opportunities to learn new skills.  Groups, events, people don’t have to be all business and who knows, someone you meet may become a part of your business and/or a friend.
  7. Be open to change.  Mix things up a bit in terms of activities and people.  As they say, variety is the spice of life.  And again…you never know.
  8. Be positive.  Even if the weather is hot and sticky, be cool, social and make decisions that make you happy.  After all, it’s summertime.