By Ronnie Green, Career Coach
Trying to build a business? Want to share brunch with like-minded people on a lazy fall afternoon? Are you passionate about politics? Could you be itching to work with ikebana (Japanese flower arranging)? Do you have literary leanings?
If you are one of those people who think that technology is to blame for people being isolated — well, sit down (preferably at your computer) and get acquainted with Meetup.
Meetup.com was created following the 9/11 tragedy, when people in New York were afraid to go out. Hunkered down at home, they felt the need to connect with others, and began to reach out via the internet. Meetup is now the world’s largest network of local groups. Its mission is to revitalize local communities and help people around the world to self-organize. Meetup is founded on the belief that people can change their personal and professional world and can make a difference.
The self-run groups can be hosted by anyone who wants to bring people together for any reason. There are more than 17 million groups who meet worldwide, online or in person, about absolutely any subject, from arts and culture, to hobbies, to personal and professional networking. Nearly 7,000 new Meetup groups met just last month.
For professional purposes, Meetup is a great resource that can be used for networking, to find a job, to learn new trends in marketing techniques or to build a business.
In 2011, with the help of a colleague (connected via social media) Jewish Community Services Career Services launched our Entrepreneur and Business Meetup, www.meetup.com/jcsebm, an educational and networking program to help businesses grow. At the monthly meetings, entrepreneurs from many different industries, marketing representatives, CPA’s and social media professionals collaborate and share important tools to assist each other.
Many people who joined the group were actually looking for a job, so we started a Job Search Network Meetup group just for them, www.meetup.com/jcsjsn. As a result, people are getting jobs and building successful business relationships with each other. Their commitment to the group is vitally productive.
Meetup on any topic, but especially for people in businesses, demonstrates that technology can bring people together. Online participants enjoy a wider network and useful contacts because they are not geographically limited. Those who meet in a specific location benefit from the face to face communication and partnerships established.
Check out www.meetup.com/jcsebm and www.meetup.com/jcsjsn and join us sometime!. Or find a Meetup group in your area by going to www.meetup.com and entering your zipcode. Network with professionals, give and get job leads, and share your professional expertise.
By Ronnie Green, Career Coach, Career Services, Jewish Community Services, Baltimore, MD
JCS offers a full range of career services. For more information about JCS Career services click here or call 410-466-9200.