Up until recently I was much of a networking hermit. I’d heard about all the advantages of joining clubs and special interest groups in college, but I never took the plunge. I just didn’t see the value. Now things seem to have changed.
In the past several months I’ve participated in more networking groups and activities than in my entire college career:
- #dmtweetup – local Twitter users who meet irregularly and talk about technology, social media and the like
- Central Iowa Bloggers – Des Moines-based group of bloggers that meet the first Friday of every month to discuss happenings in the blog community, etc.
- Company of Friends – group of readers of “Fast Company” magazine and similar media; meet once per month to discuss articles
- IowaBiz.com Business Building Breakfast – panel of bloggers share their knowledge and expertise with IowaBiz subscribers and community
- dsmBUZZ – grassroots initiative that exists to promote the efforts of locally owned businesses in central Iowa
- AMA Iowa – group of marketing professionals dedicated to advancing the theory and practice of marketing
Though it seems as if my calendar can’t allow for one more event, these days I make time to schedule in opportunities like these.
Maybe my brain was so consumed by schoolwork while in college I just couldn’t grasp the inherent benefits of groups such as these. Now that I’m out in the free world, however, I realize that the connections and contacts I make at these functions are invaluable.
Also, if you’re looking for a good way to organize your schedule in a format that’s easy to access and manage, check out Google Calendar. I just set mine up today for the first time and it’s proving to be wonderful.