Today’s post is written by Alisha Miranda, Coworking Ambassador, and Community Manager at WECREATENYC, an innovation space for entrepreneurs.
You’ve read countless tips on using social media to land your dream job, but have you tried “coworking’? One of the fastest growing work trends in this digital age, coworking fuels the new types of professionals: independents, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and those who crave a more flexible, satisfactory workspace.
Before joining WECREATENYC, a coworking space in Manhattan’s Union Square area, I visited some spaces out of a desire to go beyond my local coffee shop and connect with other freelancers and startups working on interesting projects.
As a Social Media Branding Specialist in New York, I know that getting your next gig means building relationships with people outside of your typical network, so I’m always eager to make my connections. I also wanted to test out other working environments and get a peek inside company cultures while I pursued side gigs.
That’s when I discovered coworking.
For me, it has opened the doors to many career opportunities, most importantly securing clients simply by word of mouth. For young people in the job market, coworking presents an excellent tool for networking, contact introductions and leads, and first-hand experience into day-to-day projects of other businesses. Deskmag reported in 2011 that coworking led to increased income for 40% of individuals surveyed.
“The reason for the increased income is due to the interactive nature of coworking – it’s a natural setting for networking, contact-sharing, and job-swapping. By attending a cowork space, many individuals report making new acquaintances who have a positive effect on their own work. Within the last two months, 43% of survey respondents reported meeting one to three helpful acquaintances, while another 43% have found four or more such connections.”
– Carsten Foertsch, founder of Deskmag.com
For newbies, start reading about coworking at Deskmag.com and exploring workspaces (and who’s hiring!) on Loosecubes.com.
Cowork into Your Next Job
Invite your friends! If you’re afraid of going solo, invite a few good friends to join you in a coworking meetup.
Join a cowork space that caters to your professional interests and skills: visit different spaces, ask questions about their member community, and what kind of projects/businesses they house.
Be outgoing and personable: strike up a conversation with your neighbor when you’re getting coffee or invite them to lunch.
Ask to shadow someone working in a position that interests you: find out who’s next to you and what they’re working on; pick their brain and ask how you can help.
Attend an event at a coworking space: subscribe to their events calendar and pick one that gets you excited. Some spaces have community programs that are open to the public, so ask to get involved.
Follow industry conversations & issues: it’s easy to overhear business talk when coworking which provides a prime opportunity to learn about new resources, companies to follow or even avoid, and tools for creativity and innovation.