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3 things I learned at last night’s meetup

Each event reminds me why I feel so lucky to be working with Escape.

Last night was our summer meetup at the wonderful Adam Street Club and there are three things I thought about on my way home:

1. Life is a search for people.

I first saw that line on Oli Barrett’s Twitter profile and it has stuck with me ever since.

The Meetups are very different from our structured events (there are some great ones coming up over summer – #justsayin – check them out here).

Personally, I think we need to improve the way people find one another off-line, because that’s where the real power of Esc lies: my goal with events is to make them more streamlined, regular, and niche, so that people can find who they’re looking for more easily.

2. We all need to know that we’re not alone.

I met people who worked in sales, teaching, recruitment, finance, SEO, big data, social enterprise – there are always such a range of industries, skills, interests and nationalities in the room.

What brings everyone together is the belief that work should be meaningful: doing something different is better than doing something that sucks. And if, for whatever reason, you’re (temporarily!) stuck doing something that sucks – it’s hugely reassuring to know that you’re not alone.

I noticed this common thread throughout all the conversations going on around me, even if it was hidden in the undercurrents of what people weren’t saying.

3. What you project, you attract.

You don’t necessarily need to be extroverted to get the most out of events. I used to absolutely hate networking events until I realised that it wasn’t about talking about myself – it was about having the chance to listen to the stories of others.

You can be shy and still meet some great people at events, through choosing to connect with just one or two new faces instead of meeting 30 new ones.

This sounds like a total Oprah-ism, but I think the key ingredient is positivity – when you’re positive about the potential, the potential turns out to be positive: the whole ‘smile at the world and the world smiles with you’ concept, the Secret, the law of attraction, whatever you want to call it.

Got ideas for how we could improve our events? If you’ve got ideas, as always, I’d love to hear them in the comments below (or you can share them on our Facebook or Twitter feed, or privately through adele@escapethecity.org or @adelebarlow).