There are some good things that lockdown taught us: how good our Netflix watching skills are; that you really can do a Joe Wicks workout when you put your mind to it; and that your interiors really needed a revamp. There’s one other thing, too.

When I was locked down with my laptop working from home, it gave me some extra time to think about how I could boost my career. One of the ways was through an online networking platform. During my lunchtime, once a week, I started to log into Lunch Club and be matched to another professional. Each time it was someone new, whether that was a charity start up, an established business owner or someone who just shared the same interest in books. They have given me connections, ideas and even some extra work. So while people might be stepping back into their expensive Annabel’s membership, there are cheaper and equally useful online memberships to be had too.

Lunch Club

Lunch Club is a free online platform where you get matched with people of a similar job or interest. It’s like online speed dating but without the awkwardness at the end. Sadly, no actual lunch is involved. All you need to do is set up an account and fill in a questionnaire about your background, goals, job, and what you’re excited about (Harry Potter could be in there if you wanted). Each week you’re sent an email about what times and days suit you, and then a suggested connection. You can accept or decline the meeting and go from there. The system is run by AI and it automatically arranges the matches. They can be pretty varied, but as long as you specific you’ll get some good matches and it’s a great way to generate ideas and support if you’re setting up a new business or going freelance. Over in Miami, they’ve actually launched real events (with a free lunch!!!) so stay tuned and that might be something that develops in London too.

Website: www.lunchclub.com

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Allbright

You may already know about Allbright. The fancy females-only private members club is based in Mayfair and has a host of successful, glamorous women on its books. However, if you think the annual £1,500 fee (plus £300 joining fee) is too much, you can still join this sisterhood online. Their digital membership is just £8.50 a month and with that you get to network with like-minded business women, gain access to industry advice, as well as exclusive groups. There are also virtual events you can tune into that are live and also on demand. There is also an online academy, which includes more than 170 hours of workshops led by leading business women through a host of videos. It’s not quite the same as drinking champagne and munching on canapés in Mayfair, but it is a lot cheaper.

Website: www.allbrightcollective.com

Clubhouse

This is the online members app that everyone was talking about at the beginning of lockdown. Up until recently it was invite only, but now it has been opened up to the likes of you can me. Less of a club and more of a podcast, Clubhouse allows you to explore lots of different ‘rooms’ filled with different conversations with sometimes famous faces. You can listen in and share your thoughts on how to be a good mum, what 60s music star was the most prolific, or learn something about neuroscience. While you’re out and about, walking the dog, or simply don’t have anything in your diary, log in to listen. You can even start your own rooms, or jump in with questions you feel passionate about.

Website: www.joinclubhouse.com

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Velocity Black

Just watch the Velocity Black trailer to understand what this online membership is all about. It’s basically for millionaires, billionaires, high flyers and people with loads of dosh. If that’s for you, then well done. The app is backed by $28 million in venture capital. With this dollar, they’ve been able to develop technology that helps deliver exceptional services for people with very little time on their hands. It’s essentially an Alexa service that you speak to, but instead of asking for the time, you request an insane holiday to the Caribbean. We have no idea how much this costs. Oh, and there’s a waiting list.

Website: www.velocity.black

It's essentially an Alexa service that you speak to, but instead of asking for the time, you request an insane holiday to the Caribbean.

Glorious

The aim of the game for Glorious is about shouting about women’s sport through an online membership club and community. Through stories they post on their platform to exclusive offers and access to events, they hope to celebrate sport through the arts and culture. You can either pay £49.99 a year or £4.99 a month, although at the moment they’re giving out discounts so it’s even cheaper. What’s more, a percentage of your membership fee goes to their charity partner, The Women’s Sport Trust, to help them champion change for women in the industry.

Website: www.glorioussport.com

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BeBold 

BeBold is a community of women from all industries, from fashion to business to therapy. Based in London but expanding to other major cities, the club helps like-minded ambitious women feel supported and inspired. As well as doing in-person events and talks around London, BeBold also runs an app to keep you abreast of developments, talks and helps you connect with other members. Sign up and log in to find the next event and get connected!

Website: www.beboldlc.com


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