WordPress is a lonely business.
Most of us are freelancers or do remote work. Working in isolation makes it hard to socialize with your co-workers.
Sometimes you just need to have a conversation with someone that isn’t a dog.
There’s an easy way to get out and interact with other like-minded humans. Even if it does mean putting on some
pants “outside clothes”.
Right now I belong to more than thirty meetups on Meetup.com. That doesn’t mean I go to every event. In fact, for some groups I’ve never even been to a meetup. I try to get out at least once every week or so and Meetup makes that possible. I’m in groups to network with other professionals and get those creative juices flowing.
While 30+ meetups is a lot, I’ve narrowed down a list of five types of meetups every WordPress professional should join.
Your Local WordPress Meetup
Duh! This is your bread & butter group. I’m in ten Chicago area (and even Milwaukee) WordPress groups.
Most WordPress meetups are beginner to advanced users, designers, developers, consultants and implementers.
As a co-organizer of WordPress Naperville I love the opportunity to answer people’s questions, bring in talented speakers, and help other members grow their businesses.
I do this all day, why on earth would I want to do this in my free time too?
I spend most of my day developing custom plugins. Still, I can’t wait for each third Tuesday of the month to roll around.
By being active in a WordPress meetup I get to learn from other developers, designers, and users. People who have a different perspective than I do. By sharing our experience we can all learn from each other, and that makes me a better developer.
Find a WordPress Meetup near you.
The Geeky Meetup
As a developer, I’m always looking to learn new skills. It’s easy to become myopic and focus only on what you already know.
I also belong to meetups on general software development or other techie/geeky topics.
At these groups I learn about new tools and technology. Stuff I might have otherwise not even heard about. Even if I can’t apply it to WordPress development, it makes me a well-rounded developer.
It’s also good to network with people that may send you work. Which is next…
The Networking Meetup
Many of us are freelancers that are good at what we do, but we aren’t so good at finding the people that need us to do it.
In most of my groups, I’m known as the WordPress Guy.
This means I get referrals for people that need help with new or existing WordPress sites. Not all are a good fit for what I do. Being active in a WordPress meetup means I’ll know someone that’s a better fit!
You’ll also learn about being an entrepreneur and running a successful business.
The Creative Meetup
Just WordPress all day, every day, is the fastest way to burn out.
I’ve met so many WordPress folks that are also musicians, artists, writers, even quilters! It’s important to find a creative outlet. Whatever your hobby may be, there’s probably a meetup for it.
I love to write and take pictures. I’m in several writing and photography groups where I can learn from the more experienced members. Like code reviews, feedback or critique on something I’ve created isn’t easy. This type of honest feedback will only make me better in the long run.
All code and no play makes Mike a dull boy!
The Healthy Meetup
Finally, and maybe the most important, is the healthy meetup.
We spend our days sitting on our butts staring at a screen. We need to get up, get outside, and move around!
I belong to a few hiking and outdoor groups in the Chicago area. Between them there’s a hike close to me almost every weekend.
For me, hiking is a chance to clear my mind while getting those steps in. Doing it with a group just makes it more fun and helps pass the time. I’ve even gotten few leads from conversations with other hikers out on the trails.
What’s your “Must Have” meetup?
I’ve shared the top five types of meetups I think every WordPress professional should be a part of. This isn’t a complete list by any means. There are tons of different meetups you should be a part of.
Joining a meetup is a great way to make new friends and learn from each other to get better at whatever you do!