Networking in the Summer


Ah, Summer!  My season of doing.  Kicking sand on Cape Cod.  Touring Long Island’s North Fork wineries.  Hiking Lake Placid for a seventh (or is it eighth?) year.  Swatting flies on my backyard porch.  Yep, I’ll be doing a lot this summer!

Now, I think some would agree here—Summer months are best spent reclining near horizontal in the sun with a glass of wine, phone on silent on a ledge in the kitchen. With our mobile devices seasonally unglued to our hands by the heat, these days, well, it’s so satisfyingly easy to feel and appear disconnected.  (Been there; own the shirt.)

Fair warning: Don’t let the season of doing become the season of your un-doing!

Did you meet a strong potential contact the other day (but you find yourself alternating between a dartboard and a blackberry)?  Before starting that third game, send a short email obliging them of your good meeting and that you look forward to staying in touch.  It is bad networking to undo the initial meeting by letting your absenteeism show as neglect.

Did you accept an invitation to a virtual networking event (on the same weekend you rented a beach house with your cousins)?  Pack a blazer and dress shirt, because you’re attending the event and concealing the bathing suit and flip-flops off-screen.  The same goes for real-life events too: scheduling and showing up to work events are as important—and can be more fun—during the summer of doing.

Did you forget to follow-up with a new contact (and now his autoreply says he’ll have “limited Internet connection” until Labor Day)?  Send the message to reschedule an appointment in the undetermined future, and set yourself a sweet reminder to be in touch when (or if!) he returns from safari.  To let someone else’s absenteeism be your neglect is also considered undoing.

So, I’m reminding all of you, even if I’m in parts unknown…stay in touch!


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