One of the things aerospace industry professionals aren’t especially good at (particularly the geekier among us) is attending live events and meetups.
Of course, we all tend to empty out of the shop or office at noon every Thursday, and head to the favourite pub or restaurant for a meal with the office pals. And we’re always talking shop with pals over 10am coffee.
Those are cool, but they don’t count as live events.
A live event involves >25 people, most of whom are strangers, to whom you might have to introduce yourself and, Gasp. make small talk.
It is held somewhere you don’t normally hang out. Gasp #2.
It comes lubricated by caffeine, carbohydrates and complex sugars, protein, cholesterol, alcohol, and multiple combinations thereof. Hmmm, OK you have my attention.
It might be a trade show in a large convention centre with 10,000 people. It might be a totally unscripted, schmooze-and-booze meetup in a bar.
A live event will elevate your heart rate and adrenaline levels (at least somewhat), particularly for the more socially backward of us. Initiate Cold-Trickle- Down-Back sequence.
Indeed, I would argue, That’s the point.
Live events get you out of your comfort zone. But more importantly, they get you out of the damn shop/office.
I started down this road three years ago, and while the benefits haven’t been revolutionary (yet), they have certainly been more than evolutionary.
Most people who attend live events are movers and shakers, or want to be one.
Which one you are, doesn’t really matter. If you are bored, fed up and itching for change, even if it’s just changing yourself . . . . . start attending live events and meetups.
If you can’t find a relevant one, start one.
Partly to take my own advice, this week I started a new meetup called South West Aerospace Hackers, for aerospace types in the greater Bristol, UK area. Click on the link if you are within a reasonable driving distance.
It’s a sad fact of life that most live events are geocentric, so I apologise if you are too many hours or time zones away. If this one becomes a global phenomenon, then you can be sure I will leverage the power of the internet to broadcast it globally. But until then, it’s restricted to the south west of the UK.
Or . . . . . . you can start your own.
The upside is huge. You’ll meet interesting people who can help you (and whom you can help) you would never meet otherwise.
Stuff Happens at meetups. Friendships are formed. Light bulbs in heads get switched on. Businesses and initiatives get started.
The downside is minimal. Nobody comes, and you’ve wasted a few hours.
Hint: The downside rarely happens.