Networking has changed from the 80’s, the age of the Buppie, where connections were made over glasses of chardonnay and crackers and cheese. Linkedin further refined networking, creating a platform enabling the ease of making connections. Today, in the age of Tinder, Shapr, a completely free networking app, makes networking as easy as a swipe.
Shapr helps connect you with nearby professionals who share your interests. The app has a community of over 1.5 million people who are up for grabbing coffee and sharing insight, inspiration and perspective with you. Whether you are seeking career change or a career bump, Shapr is an easy way to meet collaborators and mentors who can help you on your way.
Here’s how it works: Once you download the app, you’ll be asked to pick a few goals such as “Find freelance gigs” or “Make new friends” as well as few interests such as #marketing, #photography, or #healthcare. Shapr then uses a smart algorithm to find the right people in your area to introduce. You’ll get a notification your batch of profiles is ready for the day and can elect who is able to contact you by swiping right on those profiles. When both people want to meet, you can then message and set up a time to take that conversation offline. The app works because you decide who you want to meet, and it takes less than 2 minutes a day to make good connections.
Artisha Mann is an NYC based film producer who started using Shapr after hearing about it from a friend. “My first reaction was this is really easy to use,” says Artisha. “Before I knew it, I got in touch with a venture capitalist I never thought I’d meet otherwise – and in a relaxed, casual way that didn’t feel too forced. It was truly an invaluable connection that made a big difference for me. Since then I’ve been using Shapr everyday.”
While Artisha continues to use the app to find potential investors for her projects, she has also used Shapr to get inspired by other creatives and hear about unique projects happening in industry. She advises that professionals should take the time to meet others without a goal in mind, at least once a week.
Olakunle Oladehin is another professional who has benefited tremendously from using the app during a career change. Kunle, who started his career in medical research, found his passion for hip hop while taking classes between biology labs at Harvard. Eight years later, he got the opportunity to turn his passion into a full time job when a professional connection mentioned the nonprofit Everybody Dance Now! was hunting for an Executive Director.
Kunle was ecstatic to land his dream role, but had no idea where to start. He used Shapr to meet other nonprofit professionals who could explain the ropes, and eventually to find partners to help grow the nonprofit.
“Set a goal for yourself to meet at least one new person a week, and everyday if you can,” says Kunle. These conversations will inspire you and help you on your own path, whatever that may be.”
So what’s your goal? Get inspired and start meeting the right people through Shapr. Try the app today!