In order to thrive, career wise, one must be part of the community. Many millennials stop their professional development at their job, but there is so much more. Like a tree that branches out your job is only the foundation of a better life. The next step, even if you haven’t achieved the ultimate career goal, is to join your local Chamber of Commerce.

Now a few naysayers may think that the Chamber is for old people or rich people, but that is not necessarily true. Some Chambers may have a younger arm for those under 35 or 40. In any event age and monetary status, should not matter.

Joining the Chamber of Commerce is a step in the right direction. Composed of various local businesses, it can provide unique opportunities that are immeasurable. As a member you may have access to all of the following:

Networking: Once or twice a month you are seated in a gold mine of knowledge and opportunities. What better way to make contacts, connect with the community, and enjoy some great food?

Horizon Expansion: Much like local religious institutions, academia, or other social organizations the Chamber usually has speaker/speakers on their calendar. This person may be a local person who has successfully built/managed a company, or otherwise impacted the community in a positive light. Gleaning information from the speaker is a boon to those who might be struggling professionally or personally.

Skills Enhancement: The Chamber may host workshops, or other activities designed to better the member’s understanding of the business world and all its underpinnings. Let’s face it we all need help improving our skills no matter how good we think we are.

Respectability: In talking with community members about your business, or the business you work for, a level of respect and awe is given to those who have decided to further develop their company or themselves. People, especially customers, like those who are invested in their hometown.

In the end though your career is what you make of it, and having a job is only part of it. So go out there, and discover a whole new world of wonders.