Moving to a new city without a network in place can be scary. But whether you’re job hunting or just looking for professional contacts, it is important to create a new circle of mentors, peers and industry friends.
Job hunting in a new city
All opportunities come from people, and if you have nobody locally in your network you will miss out on both jobs and fun times. Make people a priority and be curious about them and they will then be interested in you. Ask a lot of questions about things to do in town, etc… and you will be surprised how helpful people will be, says Thom Singer, creator of the “Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do Podcast.”
You dont have to look far
In most cases, many of the places you can network are just a phone call or a keystroke away. Here are some ideas on how to build a new network.
Use your school associations
You already have a connection and something in common, so why not reach out to people in your new city who went to the same school. To create a new network, you have to get out and participate in events that interest you. A good first step is to look up and see if your college alumni association has a local chapter. If yes, make sure you show up to everything they do the first year you are in town. Meeting someone once will not make them part of your network, so you have to participate in several events, says Singer.
Reach out online
You are most likely using the Internet daily, so why not make it useful? Social media is a great place to meet professionals in a new city. Ping your existing friends and let them know you have moved and are looking to meet people both socially and professionally. Get them to make introductions to people they know in the area, suggests Singer.
Also, make the most of all your social networks. Use LinkedIn to your advantage. Make introductions through direct messaging and schedule a few coffee or wine meetups, offers leadership brand strategist and author of Own Your Life Eryka T. Johnson, CEO of High Pursuit LLC, an executive leadership consultancy.
Do the group thing
Join groups where you share a common interest. You might join your homeowners association or some other community group (i.e., dog owners or childrens advocacy) where you can meet people who are like-minded. This will get you off to a good start in terms of a new network, says certified executive career coach Cheryl Palmer. Become a member of the local chapter of a professional association for your field. This is a great way to become acquainted with people in your profession who are in the new city.