In the old days (younger me), I used to attend some meetups regularly. It’s becoming less and less as I get older.

Now that I see a lot of meetups still happening (by younger folks of course), it made me realize one thing. For me those meet up during my college time was a lot meaningful then meetups that I attend during my mid/early days in professional career.

Meaningful meaning converting to something significant. During my college year, it could be as simple as gaining significant knowledge, networking with key people that significantly impact my career journey, or simply getting a paid projects. This is on top of having a good time (joking around, go visit new places, enjoy new food).

During early days in my professional career, only some of them converted like this. Mostly it’s just pure networking (building a new networking or enhance current one), chilling and having a good time.

I still got some significant output (or you can call it conversion) through new networking. But majority of it is no longer from meetups, it’s from referral. Someone refer me to someone, and it’s converted to something significant.

Logically this is expected. As we grow older, have spouse, kids, we are basically having more responsibilities. Many times more responsibility align with more time needed. Hence it forces us to choose networking wisely. Optimizing it to more significant output rather than chilling and having a good time.