It’s no secret: I love brunch. Just a quick scroll through my Instagram will make that quite clear. It’s the best meal: all the best foods AND it’s acceptable to drink (bottomless) prosecco before noon? Sign me up! Networking, on the other hand, is the absolute bane of my existence. It’s awkward and unnatural and simply no fun at all. So how did I find myself combining my favourite meal with my least favourite thing?
The Hong Kong Brunch Club, that’s how. The Brunch Club may be the best thing that has ever happened to me because, honestly, it’s made networking really easy. Brunch Club is a group of about 50 women, all between 24-45. We meet up one or two times a month for brunch and just have a lovely time chatting and eating. Most of the women are in marketing, public relations, TV production, or travel blogging/instagraming. We generally just meet and chat about our interests and our lives, meaning it’s been really easy to connect with these women as the setting is quite laid back and it’s easy to find common ground to get the conversation going in a natural way. On occasion, our work does, of course, creep in to the conversation. I love when it does. it’s so inspiring to have met such amazing women who are all, essentially, doing my dream job while also being able to travel and live abroad – talk about living your best life!
I’ve met so many great, inspiring women through Brunch Club. There’s Thanh: Thanh has lived and travelled everywhere and speaks many languages. She has a hunky Swedish husband and the two most adorable children I have ever seen. Thanh has taken her passion and turned it into something amazing. “I had a lot of travel photos I didn’t know what to do with”, she once told me at brunch, “so I put them on Instagram”. Her Instagram now boasts over 100k followers and is full of the most beautiful travel photos I’ve ever seen. She runs all of this while working a 9-5 job and being a great mother – amazing! Or Rose who works in TV production – she has travelled all over the world for work scouting out locations and shooting TV shows. She’s currently working at a big TV studio here in Hong Kong producing a new show and running all the social media promotional campaigns. Although it keeps her super busy, she is always raving at how much she loves her job and I don’t blame her! There’s also some amazing entrepreneurs who attend Brunch Club. Take Bek for example: she’s recently left the profession that she’s been in for decades to start her own business, a company which teaches children to make jewellery. She’s amazing at promoting her own business and is truly following her passion.
I have learned so much, made some new friends, and gained some new LinkedIn connections by attending Brunch Club over the last 6 or 7 months. It’s very interesting to speak to women who are successful and thriving in the field which I am trying to enter. It’s been great to have them for support, in a way mentoring me, as well as I complete this course and apply for grad school. Through the Brunch Club, I was even offered a volunteer position moderating the Facebook group and planning events for the Hong Kong chapter of Girl Gone International, a group for women travelling or living in Hong Kong; an experience that has been really fun, but has also provided invaluable experience.
I definitely hope to seek out a group like this in the next city I’ll call home, Toronto. It’s important to remind myself that networking in a casual setting is just as good as going to the more formal, stuffy networking events. It’s great to build connections all over the world and to have people who can guide you through career decisions because they’ve been there before. I am so thrilled with having found the Brunch Club as its become a weekend activity I greatly look forward to… and benefit from!