It’s Summer…No Networking Events Scheduled? No Problem!
By Guest Blogger: Lisa Dalla Vecchia
I recently finished reading the bestselling memoir by Julia Child titled “My Life in France”. I highly recommend it to those curious about Julia Child’s journey to becoming a successful cook, teacher and writer, and for those who are looking for a book that paints vivid images of la belle France. One quote that resonated with me and that I thought appropriate to share with you is one of Julia and her husband Paul’s favourite phrases, “No one [is] more important than people…friendship is the most important thing…and it needs to be tended and nurtured.”
I thought that this quote appropriate because too often, when we think about networking, our focus is to continue to meet new people and add to our growing database of connections. However, if the sole focus is on growing our contact list, are we spending the same amount of time (and more) developing and growing those relationships that we have already formed?
Life is busy. However, the summer months of July and August afford all of us the time that we need to focus on our existing relationships – be they family, friends, colleagues and professional contacts. With significantly fewer professional networking events taking place, the focus during these months should be on recharging, reprioritizing, reflecting and reaching out to those contacts that you have worked so hard to make.
Here are a few suggestions on how to make the most of the summer months:
- Pick up the phone. In this age of email and online networking, it’s especially nice to hear someone’s voice on the other end of the phone checking in.
- Enjoy the sunshine. Catch up over coffee at a cafe or for drinks after work on one of Vancouver’s trendy patios.
- Host a dinner party. Introduce your contacts to one another. Invite former colleagues or classmates.
- Invite people out to a beach BBQ. Very little prep is involved and it allows flexibility in people’s schedules as people can come and go throughout the afternoon.
- Let your connections know your travel plans. If you’re passing through their city, plan on meeting for a quick coffee or dinner.
Relationships take work. But they are worth it. Adding in some sunshine, warm weather, and any one of the great things that makes summer in Vancouver so amazing makes the work worthwhile. Happy networking!