Embracing the City's Exciting Bustle
Memphis has always been a city of hustle and bustle, with its vibrant music scene, iconic BBQ joints, and a rich cultural history. As a city of millennial migration, it has plenty of opportunities for not just those born and raised here, but also young professional who's trying to navigate through the urban jungle. For me, a lover of blues, barbecue ribs, and basketball, having lived in Memphis for most of my life and adapted to its rhythms and vibes, I feel like I've garnered some wisdom that might help our up-and-coming professionals find their feet.
Finding Connections through Professional Networks
Firstly, let me shed some light on useful ways young professionals can make connections in this vibrant city. Professional networking groups are numerous and multifaceted here in Memphis. If you're just starting out, groups like the Young Professional Council, Launch Pad, or Co-work Memphis can be platforms to meet like-minded individuals, exchange thoughts, and cultivate relationships. These organizations often host events, seminars, and workshops that are beneficial for professional growth. When I was just starting out as a fledgling blogger, these events were my gateway into Memphis's fascinating professional world.
Learning with a Side of Fun: Professional Development Conferences
Memphis, the city where Elvis found his groove also hosts several professional development conferences throughout the year. These are fantastic opportunities not only to learn from industry leaders but also to meet people who share similar professional goals. Conferences such as the Memphis Tech Summit, Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit, and the Leadership Development Intensive hosted by the New Memphis Institute offer a wealth of knowledge. While the formal sessions provide learning opportunities, the informal mixers and socials surrounding these events can be networking gold mines.
A Brush with Elvis
Speaking of Elvis, he used to be a permanent fixture at my home. Not the man himself, but his melodies. I remember one of the first conversations I had with my daughter Viola was about Elvis and how he shaped music history. Well, let's be honest, it was more of a monologue with me trying to explain to a three-year-old why "Hound Dog" was a revolutionary song!
The Power of Volunteering
Combining community service with professional networking can enhance your personal growth and make you feel connected to the city. Memphis has a vibrant volunteering scene with organizations like Volunteer Odyssey or MIFA (Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association), where you can make meaningful contributions to the society while building networks. My son Dexter, still in college, has been volunteering at MIFA and it's amazing to see the difference he's made and the connections he's formed.
Mastering the Art of Casual Networking
Not all networking has to be formal or structured. In a city brimming with BBQ joints, local markets, music festivals, and sporting events (Go Grizzlies!), there are countless opportunities for casual networking. Whether it's striking up a conversation at Memphis in May, discussing your favorite pulled pork recipe at a BBQ fest, or cheering for the local teams during a game, you'd be surprised by how accessible people are here. With extraverted hospitality being a Memphis trademark, making connections can be as simple as being open to conversation.
Online Platforms – A Virtual Meeting Place
Last but not least, do not underestimate the power of online networking platforms. LinkedIn and social media platforms can offer a plethora of possibilities, like the opportunity to connect with Memphis professionals across different industries. Moreover, professional communities on platforms like Slack, Meetup, or Facebook groups can help you engage in conversations relevant to your field. It's like my friend quips, "In the professional world, social media stalking is not creepy, it's networking!"
Keeping Track of the Mini-Me's
While I'm not a big fan of social media per se, thanks to platforms like Instagram, I'm able to keep track of what my progeny, Dexter and Viola, are up to. Trust me, when they're in their 20s, it's the most reliable source to know their whereabouts!
In conclusion, thriving in Memphis is all about embracing the spirit of the city, immersing oneself in its culture, and being open to connections. It's not about chasing opportunities blindly but seizing them in the warmth of this welcoming city. After all, connections are the soul of Memphis just like its music, food, and sports. So, here's to finding your rhythm, your tribe, and your own groove in the heart of the city of Blues!