One of my biggest reservations about moving abroad was how difficult it would be to meet people.
First of all, as a freelancer, I’m not interacting with many people (if anyone) on a daily basis. I may occasionally meet with clients, but as it stands now, most of my work is remote.
And second, even if I do happen to leave my house, most of the people I interact with are Dutch. Don’t get me wrong – the Dutch are lovely. But I don’t speak Dutch, and even though they speak English, sometimes it’s nice to speak with people who have similar experiences.
International Women’s Networking Group Rotterdam
Like most people, I turned to Facebook to find people I may have something in common with. The International Women’s Networking Group Rotterdam was one of the first I found.
As I mentioned in my previous post about Vierde Vrijdag and Susanne Pieterse, networking can be nerve-wracking. It’s not easy to walk into a room full of people you don’t know but seem to already know each other.
Meeting the women of this group was different, primarily because the first time I met them was at a café, and every person that attended the event seemed to awkwardly approach the table and say
“Is this the International Women’s Networking Group?”
As a result, the conversation would break in order to welcome the newcomer and conduct a round of introductions, and then conversation would continue with this additional person.
And that’s how almost every event has been: anywhere between 6-10 women will attend a lunch or dinner to socialize and network. It’s been such a pleasure to meet women who work in different industries than I do, and to learn about their experiences moving from their home countries to Rotterdam.
Recently, we shared our stories about doctors and hospitals in the Netherlands, and we found that our experiences – good and bad – were not unique to just our individual selves. We all agreed that doctor visits are much easier in our native languages, but we’ve all accepted the inconvenience as part of living abroad.
There are also Dutch members who, in addition to being great company, help us navigate cultural customs, correct our pronunciations, and broaden their own horizons in our interactions.
I’m extremely thankful for this group of women who motivate me not just to leave my apartment, but to push the possibilities of friendship and professional opportunities.
Starting the New Year with a Strong, Driven Network of Women
As much as I praise my personal experience, making the decision to attend an event can be difficult for many people. Beyond simply collecting business cards, people want meaningful connections in all aspects of their lives.
At the end of January 2019, the International Women’s Networking Group Rotterdam is hosting an event at Progress Bar to help women network in order to achieve growth. Unlike other networking events, we hope to learn as much as possible about our attendees before they arrive in order to jump-start their networking process.
We will provide a low-key ice-breaker activity to help attendees start conversations with each other, with the goal of establishing at least one meaningful connection.
There will also be speakers covering topics such as personal branding and capitalizing on the “A-ha!” moment. There will also be a chance to win goodie bags. And, of course, beverages and snacks will be provided to help ease every introvert into this social situation.
And on top of all that, guests have this unique opportunity to see what Progress Bar offers as a co-working space. Unlike others in the city, Progress Bar’s intimate space encourages members to interact, as well as enjoy meals or coffee together (at no additional cost). Their mission is to promote progress, and they believe that interaction with like-minded people outside of your normal circles is key to success.
I highly recommend you join us, not just because I want this to be a successful event, but because I believe we can all benefit from meeting new people (but in this case, women).
Are you looking for a strong, independent woman to get shit done? Let’s talk!