Volunteer.

As I search for people with interests similar to my own, one of the best ways to meet people that I have found is volunteering. It is also a great way yo get a feel of the community. Personally, I struggle at approaching people and starting a conversation. (I’m terrible at networking) When volunteering, knowing that those around me have a shared interest in the group we are helping makes it easier to engage with others.

For me, I have even been able to mix my hobbies into my volunteering. I particularly enjoy photography, so I have found events that interest me and offered to be the photographer. Not only did I get to work on my photography skills, I got to help an organization I support, and met some great people in the community (without all the awkwardness)!

Volunteering for organizations that you are passionate about can often lead to greater satisfaction and a better chance of meeting people that have similar interests as you. As we’ve all experienced, people tend to be more comfortable around others with positive characteristics - volunteering is a great way to show those around you a bit of your personality and who you are. It is also known that people tend to be more open with others that are helpful, allowing for an easier time when trying to build relationships.

Do you ever find yourself interested in helping out at an event but there's no information on volunteering? If so, just shoot an email or tweet to the organizers; most events love to have more volunteers! 

Another benefit of volunteering, depending on the type of event, is that you frequently get to attend parts of the events for free during the off times.

Do you know of a volunteering opportunity that you would like to see if other people would be interested in joining you? Post it on Coop and see!