Work.Learn: Professional networking events

How many times, in a post-work, sleepy state have you almost cancelled plans you made when feeling sociable and motivated and when you look back now, you realise how different life could have been if you’d stayed at home?

The sliding doors phenomenon -shout out to Gwyneth Paltrow and her incredible but totally impossible to pull off bob- is real and more prevalent today than ever before. We are constantly bombarded with choice plus a myriad of opinions on which choice you should make. It’s true that seemingly insignificant decisions can actually very significantly affect your life.

At Work.Life, our events are a hugely important part of what we do. They promote networking amongst our members, bring new people into the WL orbit and showcase the exceptional talent in our spaces. More pertinently, however, events where stories, tips, mistakes and insights are shared, create an experience which encompasses all that we hope to achieve in building a co-working community of happy humans that care about and rely on each other.

Quite honestly, often when we’ve signed up to a professional networking event feeling particularly inspired and raring to go, the day rolls around and the thought of all that human engagement fills us with dread. It may not surprise you to hear the no show rate for free events is around 40-50%.

So much of our lives exist online where we are constantly contactable but also not really in contact at all. You could quite easily get through a day without physically conversing with anyone but still feel in the loop through likes, pokes, adds and connects.

Of course, a Wi-Fi connection is essential to companies with workers spread across the globe. However, in a recent survey by Hubspot on face-to-face networking, they found that although 7 in 10 millennials felt going into the office was unnecessary, nearly 100% of these same people said that face-to-face interactions were essential for long-term business relationships. So, if 9-5 office life is becoming obsolete, events will prove themselves more and more as an essential resource for tapping into the benefits of shared experience in the building of professional relationships.

Startup culture proves again and again that innovation comes from a collaboration of enthusiasts finding a sense of belonging in their common goal. Breaking the fourth wall and interacting with like-minded individuals whilst sharing a learning experience is a seriously powerful thing for your creativity. Plus, discovering how other people manage problems similar to your own allows you to create and implement fresh ways of thinking and working.

Hubspot found 85% of jobs are filled through networking and 80% of jobs are not posted online at all- a scary stat for the keyboard warrior. Not only do events follow business trends, they divulge insider info that a company may not be willing to share in print or online. LinkedIn connections are all very well, but you’re much more likely to remember and reach out to someone who you’ve shared an experience with, even if that experience is as seemingly insignificant as a 2-minute chat at the end of a panel discussion.  A personal connection can transcend job specs and open you up to whole new networks and industries of people.

Events are also confidence building. It’s a whole lot scarier to ask for help from someone standing in front of you than it is to punch your query into google. The energy that comes from making a physical connection with someone, whether it’s a question answered or an idea formulated, is something that is distinctly lacking from an online connection. It’s empowering and uplifting to exchange information with your peers, and face to face interaction is a massively more engaging and compelling way to swallow information than reading or listening alone.

Existing solely online is a sure-fire way to be compared and contrasted with those who have built up a similarly and identically alluring online presence. To prove your purpose, worth and build on your passions, step outside your online prison and smell the pollution! Just kidding… But definitely say yes to putting yourself out there, there’s no way you’ll come away at a loss.

Come visit us and find out about our member speed networking events, and check out our events page to see what our spaces have in store for you in the next couple of months. Who knows what could happen…