Summer is a great time to do some traveling—and some networking
Networking doesn’t have to be hard. And during the summer, it can be a great use of time—because it can happen anywhere.
The best and most unlikely places to network
In a blog post I wrote for Inspiring Experts around this time last year, Networking: the 5 most unlikely, and perhaps best, places to meet your next professional connection, I outlined a few opportune times to capitalize on when attempting to network. Now, and with some input from Business Pundit and their list of the 25 Best Places to Network, here are some suggested places to network this summer while traveling.
1. Conferences. If you’re heading somewhere this summer, add a professional conference to the docket. Go through work or attend as an individual. It may take some digging, but if you do some research before you leave, you’re sure to find something.
2. Retreats. If you have a retreat planned this summer, don’t forget to bring a stack of business cards with you. Retreats are a great place to network because they are intimate. You don’t want to be over the top and only talk work, but it’s a great chance to swap stories and meet people of a professional caliber in a calm setting.
3. Volunteer Work. People don’t often think to schedule volunteer time during vacation or when traveling during the summer, but it’s a great way to give back and learn more about the community that you’re visiting—and it’s also a great way to meet other professionals, like you.
4. Speeches, Readings, and Talks. Attending a book reading by your favorite author or going to see a politician you’re fond of when you’re in the same city this summer is a great way to meet people with similar interests and provides a great platform in which to network. Word to the wise, when discussing religion and/or politics, proceed with caution. You may be at the same event but that does not mean you have the same point of view. Approach the conversation the same way that you would in the workplace—respectfully and tactfully.
5. Blogging and Social Media. The beautiful thing about social media is that it allows you to network from anywhere. Become an active member in a LinkedIn or Facebook group and contribute regularly to the digital conversation taking place.
The happiest countries on Earth—where you should plan to travel abroad to this summer
In the World’s Happiest Countries 2013 rankings, Australia topped the charts as the happiest country on Earth. Income, jobs, and work-life balance were among the factors that went into determining this year’s “happiest country.” Contributing to Australia’s jovial image was its average household net-adjusted disposable income and its employment rates.
So what does this all mean? While money and your job don’t make up your whole life, they make up a large part of it. And chances are, if you have a good work-life balance and your livelihood feels substantiated, you’re happy—and by association, maybe your country is too.
Here’s where you may want to consider traveling to this summer, with the top five happiest countries on Earth, in order, being: Australia, Sweden, Canada, Norway, and Switzerland, with the United States coming in sixth.
If you do find yourself in these necks of the woods, or in these necks of the world I should say, talk to the local populace—what do they do for work? What’s their workday like? Networking with people from a different country will give you a perspective you may have otherwise never even imagined. Bring back best practices and learn how you can make the work you do and the country you live in a happier, better place to be.