I have to admit that the word ‘networking’ fills me with dread.
Don’t get me wrong I love meeting new people and enjoy the chance to hear about other people’s experiences. But I’ve been to far too many events where once registering at the door, I’ve been pushed into a large space to join in the small talk – with no icebreakers, activities or speakers to encourage people to relax and chat.
That’s why I enjoyed the Charity Meetup last September so much. It hit the right balance of organised activities, speakers and the chance for informal discussions. I met lots of interesting people, from in-house charity staff to freelance writers, designers and digital consultants. We swapped business cards and planned coffee meet-ups to share tips and notes on freelance life. The evening was a lot of fun. I was surprised to look at my watch and see two hours had sped by.
Having only gone freelance three weeks earlier, one of the guest speakers at the Charity Meetup, Simon Tyler, resonated with the recent move I’d taken in my career. He spoke about creativity, having confidence in yourself and making the most of networking opportunities.
Throughout my working life I’ve always encouraged myself to network, and being freelance, it’s even more important that I do this to meet new contacts. I’ll definitely be going to future Charity Meetups and, as part of my 2016 resolutions, I’ll be looking out for other great networking opportunities around London.
I know there are more guest speaker slots planned for the next charity meetup get-together on Thursday the 4th of February, who I’m sure will be just as inspiring. I hope to see lots of people there – both new and familiar faces.
Kellie Smith is a freelance communications consultant specialising in copywriting, editing and proofreading. She’s worked with several national and international charities, tackling different causes. Kellie started her career in print journalism. You can find out more about her work on LinkedIn.
Give it a go
Sign up to the next charity meetup http://www.bitly.com/charitymeetup4