Relocating to a new city can be a challenge under any circumstances, but this move can be especially difficult if you don’t know anyone in your new environment and you’ll be building your social and professional networks from the ground up. But don’t be afraid! You had what it takes to make the move in the first place…Now it’s time to face the adventures ahead and stay open to new connections and new beginnings.
As you work to establish yourself in your new surroundings, here are a few networking Dos and Don’ts to keep in mind. Tips like these can help you avoid mistakes that might hold you back.
1. Take a class. Yoga, martial arts, pottery, spin, or ballroom dance, it doesn’t matter. Just think of something you’d like to know more about, hit the internet, and find a group session in your local area. It’s amazing how quickly this will place you on a social grid.
2. Pretend you aren’t introverted. At least for a while. If you have a genuinely shy and solitary personality, you can’t change who you are, but you can put that part of your nature on hold until you’ve gotten used to the lay of the land. Fake it till you make it, as they say. At least until you’ve had a chance to meet some others who may be kindred spirits.
3. Remember how cool you are. You have an easy smile, you’re smart, you’re fun, and you have a sense of adventure. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be here. If you get turned down once or twice by new contacts, or if a few of your early attempts to reach out don’t pay off, keep at it. Not every connection will be right for you. The more times you try, the more times you’ll succeed.
4. Listen when people are talking. Actually listen. When we’re in a new city trying to make friends, we tend to focus on how well we’re doing rather the subject a potential connection is telling us about.
1. Don’t worry. Again, you’re fun, cool and a great person to know. You’re also a great listener. Let your potential connections figure this out as they talk to you, and don’t try to force what isn’t working.
2. Don’t hand out too many business cards. Connect socially first, and professionally second. If you present a business card immediately to every person you meet, you’ll channel those relationships directly into the professional realm, which can be limiting.
3. Don’t “market” yourself. You aren’t a “brand”. You’re a person. Ignore advice that tells you to roll yourself out like an advertising company rolls out a new line of sports drinks. Just relax, stay open to possibility, and search for something likeable in every new person you meet. People like being liked. They don’t like being subjected to a human sales pitch.
Most important, remember that you aren’t alone. There are others all around you who, just like you, are interested in expanding their networks and getting to know new people. This doesn’t always show on the surface, but most people will be happy to respond if you have what it takes to reach out and make the first move.
LiveCareer (www.livecareer.com), home to America’s #1 Resume Builder, connects job seekers of all experience levels and career categories to all the tools, resources and insider tips needed to win the job. Find LiveCareer on Youtube and visit LiveCareer’s Google+ page for even more tips and advice on all things career and resume-related.
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