Networking opportunities can begin virtually and lead to real-world connections for Michiganders. Photos via Shutterstock
Networking opportunities can begin virtually and lead to real-world connections for Michiganders.

From local meet-ups to virtual gatherings, these groups will help you expand your personal or professional network.

MICHIGAN—Finding a job has never been harder for some Michigan job-seekers than it is during the pandemic.

Networking groups and professional organizations can help hopefuls find work in the midst of the stagnant economy. New connections can share common interests with you or lead to your next job interview.

Some estimates say that up to 85% of open positions are filled through networking.

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What is Networking?

Networking is the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

Before the pandemic, networking events took place at local conference centers, restaurants, and ballrooms. Now, many networking events are hosted online, making them more accessible to Michigan job-seekers.

When you first decide to expand your personal or professional network, consider what your goal is and the kinds of people you want to meet. Also, consider your budget. Some networking opportunities cost money.

Local (Free) Opportunities

Detroit Professional Networking Events 

Shops On Top | 2362 Russell Street | Detroit, MI 48207

This ongoing, in-person event invites attendees to gather for a cocktail hour before hearing from a selected keynote speaker. Participants are free to mingle and network after the guest speaker’s presentation.

Freelance Fridays

The Collaborative | 21 North Main Street | Mount Clemens, MI 48043

Freelancers and creatives are invited to gather to work among other creatives and kill boredom and blues together.

Sweat Equity

Renaissance Athletic Club | 501 Graham Avenue | Benton Harbor, MI 49022

This in-person exercise class for women in business promises to “mix business with fitness.”

Pitch Club

(Zoom)

This group of business-minded Michiganders is in search of “hipsters, hackers, and hustlers” to join its Zoom pitch meetings. Sharpen your skills or pick up new ones with the Ann Arbor-based social club.

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Professional Groups

Most professional groups charge a membership fee, but if you’re able to afford it, they can be beneficial in finding a job. Some examples of professional networking organizations are:

Sunrise Networking Group

The Sunrise Networking Group operates much like a chamber of commerce, connecting business professionals from across Michigan. Established and budding entrepreneurs are best served by their group.

Business Networking International

Dozens of BNI’s more than 9,000 worldwide chapters are located in Michigan. Check out their website to learn more and decide if their networking opportunities are best for you.

Groups Based on Personal Interests

MeetUp

MeetUp allows users to find people who share common interests, based on their location. Most MeetUps are free, but some hosts will ask attendees to pay a fee.

MeetUps can be in person or virtual, and based on shared professional, vocational, or personal interests.

EventBrite

EventBrite is a website for live events—both in person and online. Search features allow you to filter for free events. New Michigan networking events are posted almost daily.

Virtual Opportunities

Social networks offer limitless opportunities for networking with people who share common interests and goals.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a professional networking website that

Facebook

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