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12 Portland Networking Groups

Networking! For the uninitiated, being told to "network" can result in "yeah yeah yeahs," shrugs, or even eye rolls, but those of us in the know understand well that networking is a vital pursuit, not only for your professional life, but for your personal development as well. All that aside, networking can also be a lot of fun!

Networking introduces you to new people and their passions, as well as new companies and industries. It can lead to new friendships, new hobbies, new opportunities... altogether, an excellent way to spend your time, especially here in Portland, the craft brew capitol of the world, where networking often includes a local beer (or two).

Ready to get out there? One of the easiest ways to begin networking is to check out Meetup.com, a website for social groups and clubs. Portland has tons of amazing and highly active meetup groups. They break down into three categories:

1. Professional Associations and Networking Groups. As the name suggests, these are meet ups dedicated to professional development and networking. Here are some I belong to:

2. Industry / Skill / Hobby Specific Groups. These provide a way to learn more about your industry, or the industry you'd like to be in, as well as a fun way to meet people. I found my current job through the PDX 3D printing meetup group!

3. Just for Fun Groups. These groups provide great excuses to meet new friends, exercise, or explore all the city (and life) has to offer. Here are some of my favorites:

That is just a TINY sample of the groups out there. Search for the industries, hobbies, and activities that interest you, join the group, and get out there!