Moving to a new city can be very exciting. However, being alone in a new place can also be quite overwhelming, if not downright scary. How do you make professional contacts and grow your personal and professional networks when you don’t know anyone? Here are five simple ways you can network successfully in a new city:
1. Join A Professional Organization
It goes without saying that you should join local chapters of professional organizations in your field. These can be pricey, so be sure to visit a few different groups before committing. Always check the membership levels before doling out any cash. You might be able to join at a social or “junior” level for a reduced fee.
2. Take A Class
Seek out classes related to your field at local colleges, universities, or professional development centers. These classes will instantly connect you with other professionals in your field, while giving your skills a boost at the same time. It’s not enough just to show up to class, however. You’ve got to be fearlessly friendly and introduce yourself to others if you want to make new connections.
3. Join A Meetup
Meetup.com is chock full of groups for just about every hobby, interest, and professional focus you can think of, and most groups are free. If dues are required, they are usually very minimal, and you are allowed to visit a group once or twice before committing to those dues. Spend time looking for meetup groups that interest you, personally and professionally, and try a few on for size.
Volunteering is a great way to expand your network. You can volunteer your professional talents with a small nonprofit, or you can give your time to any organization you find worthwhile, even if it is not related to your career. Volunteering is good for your mind, body, and spirit, and it is a great way to meet great new people in an unfamiliar city.
If you are like most people, you’d rather visit your dentist than network with total strangers. Networking can be stressful, and if you are shy, it can be downright terrifying. If you want to expand your network in a new city and open the door to exciting new job opportunities, consider reaching out to a professional recruiter.
If you’ve ever found the seemingly perfect job opportunity during your job search only to find out that it’s based in a city or state hundreds of miles away, chances are you said to yourself, “oh well,” and continued searching for something local. Most times, people don’t seriously pursue relocating for job opportunities thanks to factors out of their control; finances, family, friends, etc. But the one reason – fear – is no longer an excuse. If you think about all the tools and resources readily available to any job seeker today, there are just as many strategies to help you acclimate to a new job in a new city so you can successfully network – and further your career.
Cutting Edge Recruiting Solutions (CERS) is a nationally-recognized staffing and recruiting firm located in Boca Raton, Florida that specializes in placing skilled IT professionals with some of the most innovative and forward-thinking companies in South Florida.