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If you’re looking for a new job, you probably know that networking is key. But how are you actually supposed to meet these supposed contacts who could expose you to new opportunities?
While you can attend designated networking events, these are often filled with likeminded businesspeople all looking for jobs themselves. Instead, we have another approach: Join groups related to your hobbies so you can meet individuals outside your network who share the same interests as you. You might discover some exciting, new job opportunities through these contacts, and make some new friends to boot!
We’ve compiled five great groups located in New York City that you can join to expand your network.
Are you interested in food accessibility and nutrition? Then the Park Slope Food Co-op might be for you. Dedicated to making healthy, affordable food available to everyone, this co-op boasts over 17,000 members—that’s 17,000 potential new people for you to meet! Members typically work once every four weeks at the co-op in exchange for a 20 to 40 percent savings on groceries. Not only is becoming a member a great way to meet new people and save money on food, but you can also attend cooking classes and contribute to planning the organization’s future. So if you live or work near Park Slope and want to get involved in the community, check out this co-op!
If running is your thing, then why not join a club so you can chat with new people while you run? New York Road Runners is an umbrella organization for local running clubs, so you can benefit from the larger events NYRR organizes and also meet people from your neighborhood through your local club.
If you like to jog with friends but serious running isn’t your speed, then you might consider joining a different running club: the New York Fun Run. Members call themselves “Run-Chuggers,” as they start and end their runs at a different neighborhood bar every Wednesday night, drinking a few beers post-run and hanging out with other members.
3. The AD Club
If advertising and media pique your interest, you should look into joining The Advertising Club of New York. This professional organization offers many interesting events through which you can meet people in the media sphere. From talks featuring prominent media figures to classes on different aspects of the industry, The AD Club offers many opportunities to make connections with people who have similar career interests to you. And if you’re under 30, you can become a “Young Professional” member for a one-time cost of $50.
Taking a class in a new discipline such as art is a tried-and-true strategy to meet new people. We recommend taking a class at an art studio such as Artshack, where you can learn a new skill like how to throw a pot. If pottery doesn’t appeal to you, there are plenty of other studios around NYC that offer different kinds of art classes, from painting to photography to graphic design. Not only will you learn a new skill through these courses, but you can bond over it with your classmates and even set up practice sessions with them outside class.
If you like to do public service in your spare time, then you might consider joining the Young Philanthropists at The Bowery Mission. This group of young professionals plans fundraising events and meaningful service projects for The Bowery Mission, a human services organization dedicated to helping the homeless and impoverished in downtown Manhattan. From planning coat drives to throwing an annual summer fund-raiser, you’ll network with other young professionals and have fun in the process.
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