When it comes to making friends in a new city, understanding a new set of social codes can feel like you’ve landed on another planet.
So as difficult as it may be, creating new connections can pay dividends to your personal and professional well being.
Whether you want to break the ice with your new neighbors, form new connections within your new company, or build a solid network of friends, these tips will get you build a whole new social circle.
Search for Common Ground
When you’re looking to create new connections, start with the people and organizations which you already share something in common.
Head to your college’s alumni website and see if a chapter in your location is hosting any events, reunions or workshops. What better conversation starter than reminiscing about campus memories?
If you have career-oriented goals, join a professional networking club. Professional clubs have the benefit of clear goals and objectives, so you know exactly what you’re getting as well as what type of people they attract. Groups like Harvard Business Club hosts a variety of monthly events related to business, entrepreneurship and finance.
Ivy— a “social network” dedicated to stimulating salon discussions on art, culture, and social issues– hosts events featuring famous names in the arts and entertainment industry.
LadiesDC is for the lady boss to connect with fellow female entrepreneurs with events ranging from fashion-show fundraisers to discussion panels. They even have a mentorship program that connects female entrepreneurs in the DC area.
If you’re interested in specific hobbies or sports, the Women’s Golf Association or Women’s Soccer League are great ways to bond over a shared activity.
Increase Your Exposure
It’s unlikely that you’ll make any networking connections while sitting at home on the couch. (No, the pizza delivery guy doesn’t count). Take steps to increase the likelihood that you’ll meet someone new during your day-to-day activities outside of traditional professional networking events.
Love classic literature? Sign up for a book club. Enjoy pumping iron? Meet up at a local gym. Networking is hard, but if you’re doing something you love it won’t feel like work. Plus, enthusiasm is contagious and people will notice. It’s a win-win.
Support A Cause
Volunteering for a cause you care about is a great way to meet new people and increase your exposure. Not to mention it speaks volumes about the type of person you are. You can use the online search engine Neighborgood to find opportunities in your area. If you create an online profile, VolunteerMatch.org can find local opportunities based on your interests. Both of these resources are updated and allow users to volunteer for individual events when they have the time. Love animals? An organization like DC’s Animal Care and Control is a great way to spend your time. Find what fires you up and people will follow.
Use Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, and LinkedIn
While it’s effective to network in person, you may not always have time to trek across the city. Start by building connections online and slowly moving them into your real life. Facebook and LinkedIn are home to countless groups that can connect you to people with the same goals. And many of them are open to scheduling in-person meetups. You can join Capitol Standard’s LinkedIn group for event listings and resources for the budding D.C. professional looking to expand upon this professional network.