Network. It’s strange to even see that word today when it’s not preceded by the word “social,” isn’t it? Networks, the old-fashioned, face-to-face warm-bodied human versions, still exist and there is still real value in them.
Humans are relational creatures, naturally drawn to others by some common interest or quality. Be it gender, heritage, profession, hobby or location, people will gravitate to others in the name of just about anything. These groups will generally have set meetings, regular functions, and events (some of which are actually even fun to attend.) The real “problem” with these off-line networks is that they also have needs and require two things of members: effort and time. These days, those two things are quite a commodity and, for some, are harder to give away than money.
With the job market so saturated today, it’s no surprise that people are relying more and more on their networks to find employment opportunities or to fill key vacancies. So, what does your network look like? And, how far-reaching is it?
If you live in Western Massachusetts (like many of our readers do) there are ample opportunities to connect with other area professionals and leaders.
Here are a few local networking organizations to consider:
- Business Networking International
- Junior League of Western Mass
- Springfield Young Professionals Society
- Northampton Young Professionals Society
- Toastmasters Association
- Women’s Business Owners association
- Women in Philanthropy
- Women’s Business Network
A few other more general avenues through which to connect:
- College Alumni Organizations
- Service or Fraternal groups: Rotary, Kiwanis, Elks, etc.
- Volunteer associations
Even if you are not looking for a new job opportunity right now, it does not necessarily mean that you won’t be some time in the future. So, what are you waiting for? Put down your smart phone, dust off your handshake and network the old-fashioned way—it just might be the best thing you ever did for the future of your career!