Everyone talks about the importance of networking and how you need to step out in order to meet people. But where exactly should a person go in order to connect with the right people? And are all networking opportunities equal? Here we examine the value of some of the places where you could go if you’re hoping to expand your friend list, whether it’s for business or otherwise. We have left out cult groups due to our editorial considerations but please share any experiences you may have in the comments. Ahem! Now, based on experience:
It’s probably not a good idea to go to a church with the primary goal of meeting people. However church is a place where you have people looking to have you as a fellow member. As such, you will most likely be warmly welcomed from your first day. If you feel comfortable enough to get your spiritual needs met in a particular church, you’ll most likely enjoy its community of members, and that’s a great way to connect with people who are already interested in connecting with you. If you’re wary of meeting new people, you will benefit from the high standards of morality that are expected in church settings.
Clubs like Rotary International
Clubs like Rotary and Lions Club are interested in specific types of people. These clubs have age old cultures and goals and they usually want people who can help the club itself. Meeting people in clubs like these is supposed to be a secondary motive; to helping humanity, the less privileged in society etc. One problem here is that a lot of people who join such clubs are social climbers, hoping to get connected to elites in society or to build their personal profile. You can see how this can easily become a dishonorable motive. While one should be proactive about networking, making friends ought to have a natural feel to it. We’ll go ahead and recommend clubs like this in the hope that those who join them without wanting to help society will ultimately get what they deserve. And yes, clubs like these want people who don’t have a problem with contributing or donating money.
Think of P.E. classes from your school days. Everybody is dressed down in sports gear, and there’s a general readiness to get sweaty and participate in a group. There’s also a lot of opportunity to assist or cooperate with strangers. And let’s not forget, you’re having fun. Exercise groups are a great place to meet people. You will find that statuses melt into each other as you could be fouling your local government chairman on the pitch (don’t worry, his mobile police security detail won’t hurt you). As with most group activities though, there’s a tendency for someone to poison the well by offending someone else in the group. It could be anything from a business deal going wrong, to a romantic encounter turning sour. Whatever one’s intentions are, it will be almost impossible to get involved in an exercise group without getting some benefits in the form of fitness. So an exercise group will never be a total loss.
You are less likely to meet people who have ulterior motives here. What you’ll find is a gathering of people who are passionate about similar things. That usually means similar mindsets. And let’s be honest, you’re not going to find a lot of thugs in a literary group. The literary community in any city is usually a small one, so it’s a bit of a necessity for you to join these groups if you want to have resource people in that field. From writers to bloggers, editors to poets, you will enjoy the escapism of spending one or two hours with your kind, just discussing the arts. You nerd!
This is an interesting one. I imagine that the Kparapo groups of different tribes will offer different experiences. I recently moved to the nation’s capital and I plan on checking out my own Kparapo. This is often something that we take for granted when we live in our areas of origin. However I suspect that it would be a mistake to ignore a gathering of one’s tribesmen in a cosmopolitan city. Especially because of how much tribe is still a dominant factor in Nigeria.
At the end of the day, the motive that you and other members of a group have for joining makes all the difference. The purer the general motive is, the better the quality of people you end up forging friendships with. Friends usually share common interests, so joining a group when you don’t care about their goals might not be a terrific idea.