In the early stages of any career, freelance or not, one of the most productive things you can do is regularly network and make new connections. These days, with social media, networking is something we can do on a daily basis - sites like LinkedIn allow us to connect with other professionals in our industry, while Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are great platforms to share skills and meet like minded people. There is still, however, a lot to be said for going out and meeting people face to face, having a real life conversation and networking the old fashioned way!
Last Thursday I headed along to the monthly drinks evening for Glasgow Young Professionals, with little idea of what to expect. This group has been running networking events in the city for seven years now, and hosts events including a Burns Supper and a Summer Party in addition to the monthly drinks meet up. This month's drinks were being held in The Western Club, a beautiful bar in Royal Exchange Square, which was a really lovely location. The event is held on the last Thursday of every month, each time in a different Glasgow venue - all the details can be found on the GYP website.
The evening kicked off at 6pm, and after grabbing a drink at the bar, I started chatting with another newbie - honestly, I had wondered if I might arrive to find that everyone who was there was a regular, but that wasn't the case at all. There was a nice mix of regulars and new faces, and I met such a wide range of people in just a couple of hours. The word "young" had thrown me a little before I went in - would everyone there be a 22 year old new graduate?! The answer to that, I am delighted to report, was no! I chatted to a range of people, from a number of industries, and ranging in age from several years older than me, to several years younger. It was a relaxed atmosphere, with no awkward introductory segment, allowing you to mingle at your leisure, chat to as many or as few people as you liked, and head off whenever you felt like it - there was no pressure to stay until 10pm, but I found myself still chatting away at 9.30, the time having flown by. The casual structure meant you could spend your time getting the most out of it for you - for some, it was a nice way of meeting new people after recently moving to Glasgow, while for others, it was an opportunity to spend time focused on interacting with people within their industry. I exchanged a few business cards, added a few new contacts on LinkedIn, and had some really interesting conversations.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my evening with the Glasgow Young Professionals, and I will definitely be heading back in the future. If you are based in Glasgow, and looking to network and meet new people, I would absolutely recommend going along. If you're not Glasgow based, however, do some research online - I'm sure there will be groups just like this in most big cities, and they're a great way to make new connections!
If you have any more specific questions about my experience at the event, please drop me a message. You can also find out more by visiting the GYP website here!
Thanks for stopping by, and until next time, happy networking!
POST FIRST PUBLISHED APRIL 2017