By Brooklyn Schacht
If you had asked me 5 years ago if I wanted to join a marketing networking association, I would have probably chuckled or responded with an explicative or two. At the time, and I bet a lot of people feel this way too, it seemed as though networking was a waste of time. Unless you’re looking for a job, networking seemed kind of pointless. At least to someone like me who secretly doesn’t really like talking to strangers or being friendly for no reason. And when you’re busy and trying to find this thing called work life balance, committing to extracurricular activities that don’t have a real benefit is a hard call to action.
So that’s my brain like 5+ years ago, right? Today, I am in charge of associations, memberships, and networking for my agency and I am on the board of directors for a regional marketing group, the American Marketing Association Colorado Chapter. Why the hell do I do this when I’m already working 50-60 hours a week and supporting a loving home with a kickass husband and super adorable black lab? Well, it’s two fold. First, I think that by getting involved, I can make better connections with folks who can help me and Warehouse in the long run. By connecting with other cool people that do advertising, marketing, video production, photography, design, digital, and so on, I have an endless arsenal of talent to pull from when Warehouse is need of vendors, contractors, or even staff. So that’s pretty cool. The other side of the coin is that I also feel that I can bring something of value to an organization like that. I have to remember that it’s not always about what you can do for me or ask “why would I spend my time if I don’t get something out of it?” That’s pretty selfish. I bring something of value to others through my involvement, and I make a difference by being there. Providing value to an awesome organization like the Colorado AMA is really awesome and very fulfilling. It is more work, yes. It sometimes is even busy work, uh huh. But, at the end of the day, I value the relationships that I have formed with some super cool folks in the Colorado market and that’s what makes it worthwhile. Even the 3 hour roundtrip drive to Denver every month for the board meeting!
Long story short, you gotta look at opportunities from both angles. What can it do for you and what can you do for it? It’s not always one way. And it’s not always about what YOU get out of the deal. And … even introverted people like myself who hate networking can find something of value in a networking organization!
Also, the Colorado AMA does a ton of kickass events in Colorado, so check them out and go to a cool networking on learning event!