Networking over spring break may not have even crossed your mind. After all, spring break is all about sun, fun and partying, right? Who would take this time off from school to go off and network?
Many spring breakers choose to go get tan and tipsy down in Cancun. However, others do opt to go get their foot in the door to land a potential job offer. It is an opportune time to start networking with people and establish connections for the future.
Here are a few ideas for networking over spring break. Don’t worry, you can still have the chance to take a break and have some fun.
1) First, consider choosing a destination where you would like to end up working
Although the warm, sandy beaches of Cancun would be a cool place to work, it’s unlikely that you’ll find something you’re looking for. Depending on your career path, you’ll find certain cities that are ideal for your career. For example, if you’re in tech, there are plenty of other booming cities to find a job beyond Silicon valley.
Opportunities, starting salaries and security are definitely things to consider too when researching which city to visit. Fortunately, the job market is looking up right now and there’s opportunities spread all throughout the United States.
Here are the 10 best cities to find a job.
2) Whichever city you plan to visit, look up any events that may be going on
Attending a conference for a day could be all you need to make some contacts and practice your networking skills. At the minimum, you’ll get some exposure to the industry that you’re interested in. This could also help you determine whether your particular career path is right for you. Better to know now than later.
Yes, conferences may be pricey, especially since you’re most likely just a college kid making it out on your own. As an alternative, search for some networking events or even sightseeing tours or groups. A great place to start would be the website, Meetup.com. Here you can search for all kinds of events and groups in different categories. It’s super simple to search by city too. There are plenty of free events, which makes it even better.
3) Reach out to family or friends
Our closest network is our family and friends. Do you have relatives in any cities on your list? Although they may be older and old school, they just might have the right contacts to help you get your foot in the door. And since it’s their hometown, they can guide you on where to start networking with people.
Remember, conferences and events aren’t the only options to make new prospects and meet new people. Places like bars, restaurants, lounges and coffee shops are also great places to network. It’s just about knowing the right places and times to go to.
No matter where you end up going for spring break, networking with people is always something you should have on your mind. You never know who you’ll meet and you’ll never have a second chance to make a first and purposeful impression.
Be sure to have your Squiqr cards handy for when you make those new contacts!
Happy people connecting and enjoy spring break!