Your network is your net worth is a phrase that we have all heard, but what happens to your net worth (network) when you are the new kid in town? Relocating to a unfamiliar city can be an overwhelming experience, and in today’s world the next big career step could mean a moving company and goodbyes.
Trying to get acclimated to a new city, public transportation, and where to eat is daunting enough, let alone having to rebuild your professional network. Whether you moved for a fresh start in your career, a new job, or school it is important to rebuild your network, and also maintain the established relationships you have already built.
Here a 3 tips on how to make connections in a new place when you are the new kid in town.
Step outside your comfort zone. Birds of a feather flock together, but when you are new to town, it’s time to become familiar with the unfamiliar. Sure, there is no place like home but that doesn’t mean you should sacrifice familiarity over the local flavor. Plus, what’s the point of living and working somewhere different if you are not going to experience new things? Get uncomfortable and try something out of the box. Surround yourself with a diverse group of people in untraditional settings. Sports leagues are always a great way to meet new people in a very informal environment, but instead of sticking to only the sports you know best, sign up to play a sport that you wouldn’t traditionally go for.
Not into sports? Whatever your interest are, there are groups in every city that meet up to share, learn and network. Meetup.com, a website that helps people with shared interests host meetings and offline clubs, is a great place to search for groups in your area. Don’t forget to try something new by joining a local professionals group or association.
Don’t be shy, be creative. Make your needs known when you are the new kid on the block and looking to form a new professional network. When you meet up with new contacts, don’t be shy about your purpose. Share that you are looking for people to meet with similar interest, possible clients, referrals or even possible business contacts. You’re not new to networking; You’re new to the area. The same things that helped you to build your existing network will be the same things you use to establish a new one.
Look for those unconventional opportunities to network. How many times have we randomly bumped into someone waiting in line at Starbucks, or running next to someone on the treadmill at the gym? This happens a lot, so take advantage of these opportunities to connect. Take it a step further by asking the person if they are on LinkedIn and establish your online connection right on the spot.
Tap into your existing network. Begin asking your existing professional and personal network for contacts in your new location. This doesn’t mean that you have to connect with everyone, but it’s a great starting point for building new relationships. With all of the discomfort that comes with moving to a new area and meeting new people having a mutual contact with someone makes the transition much easier.
Daron Pressley (@daronpressley) is an entrepreneur and former Fortune 500 sales and marketing executive who has been featured on outlets including Fox45 News, Black Enterprise magazine, and The Washington Post. Knowledgeable in marketing and branding, Pressley works with professional athletes, organizations, and individuals to develop strategies to create, build, and grow brands. As a speaker, Pressley has reached more than 20,000 students. He also provides dynamic insights on leadership and branding via his Website: DaronPressley.com.