NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The summer offers enormous potential to network and to build professional relationships.
The weather is generally kinder, and more people are inclined to be out and about. People tend to be happier, and happy people tend to be available and generous with their time.
The goal in networking is to establish strategic career-focused relationships. A good networker builds a community of like-minded and supportive advocates. It is an insurance policy in a world where change is a defining theme for careers and work. You never know when you have outlived your welcome where you work or, alternatively, when you will begin to feel restless and want to make a change. Having a strong network will help you take your next step.
It's obvious, but it bears repeating: You should be strategic and a little self-serving in reaching out to people. That is precisely why you should plan your summers with intention and purpose. Always ask yourself the following question: Will this activity have the potential to be of benefit to me? If the answer is yes, then you'd better have a snappy sound bite to explain who and what you are when meeting new and potentially valuable people.
Whether you are stuck at work or plan to travel this summer, why not make the most of the unique career benefits the season typically offers? It's even better if you can combine business with pleasure.
So, when the thermostat rises, here are 10 tips on how to heat up your networking:
1. Take a vacation.
People tend to be less inhibited and more relaxed when they're away from home. Vacations also offer distance, forcing people to focus on activities other than work. It is a fact that you will meet new people -- so make sure you are prepared to talk about yourself professionally but without the obvious sales pitch.