How To Network In A New City

July 2nd, 2018

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One of the most daunting aspects of moving to a new city is establishing a network. And while beginning this journey can feel everything from insanely intimidating to completely cheesy, it doesn’t have to be that way! The key is to focus on building relationships, rather than climbing the corporate ladder. So if you’re lost on how to successfully find professional connections in a new city, check out these seven tips on building your network ~ because it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Find Events First things first: meeting people. If you’re starting out in a new city, or making a career change, this step can be daunting. But don’t let that stop you! Everyone has to start somewhere. Major cities have plenty of networking events that can be found through a simple facebook group or google search. If you’re in business, check out your Alma Mater’s website. Many prominent universities host regular alumni meet-ups. Interested in the arts? Attend a film festival or museum event. And if you’re wanting to get involved with a non-profit organization, they are always on the lookout for volunteers. No matter your field, there are resources available to help you find and connect to like-minded people. Be Generous Oftentimes people view networking as a way to move up the corporate ladder, rather than as a form of collaboration. Find people that you want to build professional relationships with, and then help them achieve their goals! Donate money to a fundraiser, volunteer for a non-profit, or connect two colleagues that have mutual interests. When it comes to growing your network, it’s important to approach your work from an abundance mindset. Don’t Push an Agenda People can smell desperation a mile away. So when it comes to mingling in a networking event, treat your conversations as an opportunity to build a relationship. You wouldn’t go on a first date and expect a proposal by the end of dinner ~ so why would you expect the same results on a professional level? Approach your network from a place of genuine interest, rather than solely pursuing a personal agenda. Be Authentic Networking events can be incredibly intimidating, so it’s important to know your strengths. Before venturing out to a conference, take the time to reflect on where you’re at professionally and what you have to offer others. Having a clear idea of what you bring to the table is essential when building connections in your industry. Likewise, don’t let the vastness of a networking event give you social anxiety. Rather than feeling pressured to charm a room full of strangers, embrace your personal strengths. If you tend to be introverted, focus on chatting with one person at a time and finding a common ground. You can still build meaningful connections by staying true to your authentic self. Remember Names This one can be tricky, but there’s simply no way around it. When meeting people, you must remember their name. And if you forget after the first introduction, don’t be afraid to ask for a reminder. This will serve you better in the long run. Don’t Forget Your Business Cards This simple step makes all the difference. Opportunity can arise at any moment, so always have a few business cards handy. Likewise, don’t wait for someone to ask for your card. If you’re interested in keeping in touch, initiate the exchange of contact information. After all, that’s why you’re networking in the first place. Follow Up After a successful event, feel free to drop a quick note to your new colleagues. Depending on your industry, asking for coffee or connecting on social media may be acceptable. Otherwise, a short “nice to meet you” email, can go a long way.