7 Benefits of Getting Involved in Your Community 

We’re racing toward the end of the year. A crazy year politically, and crazy with King County changes as 1,000 people a week move here, and the unofficial state bird becoming a crane. It’s hard to keep up and feel like the ground underneath our feet, and city landscape, isn’t constantly changing.

It’s an interesting time when everyone puts work on a very necessary pause to end the year focused on family, love, connection, recreation, reflection, and rejuvenation.

When you’re in the space to look at 2018 planning, be sure to take a look at our event schedule for 2018. We’re particularly looking forward to our job fair on January 25th and our Mergers & Acquisitions Conference on February 8th where experts will help you to prepare your company financially, legally and business operations-wise to sell down the road.

In regards to the job fair, there will be one major difference. Several people commented at the past event that it’s hard to attend during normal working hours and companies always looking for senior engineers.

So starting with the January job fair, the doors will open at 4 p.m. and stay open until 7 p.m., allowing all job seekers to attend and connect with recruiting companies. This includes people in senior positions and employed people who are curious about other opportunities.

We’re also changing the start time of our monthly events to be 5:30pm instead of 5pm. This will help people getting off work at 5pm to get through traffic and join us in the fun, festivities, and connections of New Tech events.

With the new year right in front of us, I also thought it was the right time to give you seven benefits of getting involved in your community. You can experience these benefits through our events, other events and volunteering.

1. Meet new friends and business contacts who are outside of your normal circle
New Tech Northwest strives to bring people together from all walks of life. The one common thread is this region’s vibrant and growing technology sector and a desire to connect with quality people. Whether you’re a job seeker or an entrepreneur, community events (tech, arts, civic, etc.) create an opportunity to make friends and contacts in similar businesses with no strings attached. Who doesn’t need a sounding board for ideas?

2. Be connected to the pulse of what’s happening
Networking groups can give you an inside track into what’s happening in your industry and in your greater community. You can access people and information from experts who influence your field to authors speaking, or hearing what’s up in our community at Ignite Seattle. By asking questions and understanding the trends in your industry, community and state, you’re setting yourself up for success.

3. Be proactive. Share your voice and opinions
Want to shape the future of your industry? Then let your voice be heard. People who are active in their networks can have a big impact on the conversations that inform that space. The takeaway is that if you have something worth contributing, take ownership of it and the whole community will benefit.

Another thing to consider, especially in the tech space here in the Northwest, is that change is inevitable. Rather than being swept up in the tide, be proactive and take ownership of conversations that affect you. In the context of New Tech Northwest, we welcome people who voice their opinions, share their expertise and have a helpful attitude. All of you help build and maintain our thriving community.

4. Helping others feels good
If you’re on the fence about helping out in your community, hop off the fence and take action now. Check out these reasons why helping others benefits you as well. Check out our resource page on giving back to find the volunteer opportunities that align with your skills and interests. Nothing feels better than helping others climb their ladders and contributing to your community.

5. Get advice
Being part of a large, diverse group gives you many opportunities to get advice from people who’ve gone through it all. What to do. What not to do. Their experiences can point you in the right direction and help you avoid many costly pitfalls. Reach out through our Facebook group and Slack channel to meet others who share your passions and can help you build your tech career or company.

6. Seek professional development opportunities 
In addition to being a great resource for job seekers and employers, organizations like New Tech Northwest can help you gain professional contacts, find a mentor and expand your industry knowledge. Being a member of a group like NTNW also shows that you are active and committed to your profession. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can build long-lasting relationships and potential business opportunities.

7. Find your passion
There is no better way to stay motivated than to find something you’re passionate about. And it’s not just NTNW. Maybe you’re interested in helping out with your local school, hospital, animal shelter, environmental group or charity organization. There are so many ways to be an active and contributing part of your community – like here. The sky is the limit.

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