By L’Oreal Thompson Payton
When John Donne said, “no man is an island,” he may as well have been talking about women, too. If recent events are any indicator, we know that when we when we band together, we get work done.
But how do you go about finding your squad? You know: the women who have your back no matter what, who push you and inspire you to achieve great things and won’t take no for an answer.
Here are a few tried-and-true ways to connect with your crew online and offline:
Twitter chats are one of my favorite ways to meet new people. Imagine hanging out with a group of likeminded people discussing a topic relevant to your business, brand or blog.
My favorites include #blkcreatives, #createlounge and #Ambitionistsa. If Twitter chats aren’t your thing, perhaps a private Facebook group may be more your speed.
When I first moved to Chicago from Baltimore, I made it a point to attend local meet-ups for women. My favorite is SheSays, a networking group for creative women. Some of the women I’ve met there have become really good friends.
Another great local group is Creative Women’s Co. and my friend Jessica Lauren of No Real Jewelry has even started a Dreamer + Doer meet-up. You can find free local events by searching Facebook and Eventbrite.
Joining a professional organization is a great way to make a name for yourself in your industry and network with women in your field (hello, mentors).
If you’re not ready to join an association, the associate board of your favorite charity is another way to make new connections.
If you don’t have the budget for membership fees, volunteering for a cause close to your heart is a fun way to give back to the community and gain new skills while meeting new people. It’s a win-win!
Phone a friend
Perhaps the best way to build your tribe is to ask friends who have similar interests. There’s no reason why your friend who’s a blogger can’t help you get started or introduce you to some people who can help.
I’m a big believer in community over competition. There’s enough room for all of us! What do you say: are you ready to find your new squad?
A journalist turned nonprofit PR pro, L'Oreal Thompson Payton is also the blogger behind LT in the City. Her bylines have appeared in publications such as EBONY, Sesi, HelloGiggles and Brit + Co. When she's not busy writing, she can usually be found reading, dancing or eating her way through Chicago.