There is no denying the role our personal relationships play in our everyday lives. We’re drawn to those with similar interests who can relate to our ups and downs, and vice versa. The same holds true for work relationships. Knowing and connecting with others in your field is highly beneficial to maintaining your professional sanity. And, if you can make those connections in person – even better.
Whether you run your own company, are an employee or working as a freelancer, networking with those in your community who do exactly what you do is like having your own little work club. Everyone hangs out, ideas are shared, problems are discussed (and, hopefully solved) and more often than not, you learn something along the way.
Networking is a good place to meet those like-minded individuals, but networking events can be few and far between. And, events such as this are more for meeting possible clients, other professionals who can help your business in one way or another and getting the word out about your company.
If you’re interested in strictly getting together with people who share your professional interests, a good place to look is your local Meetup. The popular online social networking portal gets local people together via different interest groups. The groups then meet in person on a regular basis (depending on group) for presentations, meetings, etc. You can join more than one Meetup group and participate in as many, or little, group meetings as you wish. For example, if you write for the web you can join a writing group, a web writing group, a marketing writing group, and so on and so on. Also, you’ll still be getting the word out about your business, which is always a positive.
So, if you’re beginning to feel like the lone captain on a crew-less ship, check out your local Meetup. If you don’t find the group you’re looking for you can always start one yourself. You may be surprised by how many people are in the same boat.