Attending meetups might not sound like fun—especially if you’re shy—but they’re still important to participate in since they can lead to a job, grow your network, and improve your skills.
Here are a few tips to improve your meetup experiences:
1. Use the Buddy System
Bring an outgoing friend or colleague with you. You’ll get to join the conversations without the pressure of carrying them.
2. Focus on the Other Person
Take the spotlight off of yourself by putting it on the person you’re talking to (besides, people like talking about themselves). Be curious, ask questions, find out what tips they have to offer and how they got into programming.
3. Attend Events You’re Excited About
If you go to events that you’re genuinely excited about—and the other attendees are equally excited—you’ll automatically have something in common with everyone in the room.
4. Treat it as Research
You might not meet your future employer at a meetup, but you’ll probably learn about them. Since you’ll be surrounded by people who are interested in the same technology and industry as you are, they’ll have ideas about where you should apply, who you should talk to, what other meetups you should consider, how you can improve your personal projects, and so on.
5. Remember What Networking Actually Is
True networking isn’t about making small talk to get you a job. Networking is meeting new people who you like and want to stay connected to, and exchanging ideas. So, if you meet someone and the relationship is uncomfortable, drop it and pursue the next. No pressure.
Not sure where to go? Check out upcoming events and meetups at Code Fellows »
Stay tuned for Part 2!
This article is a part of the career development training offered to students enrolled in Code 401. Learn More »