Many people think that the hardest part about going to a new city is finding a job. And while I don’t disagree that it is hard, I don’t believe it is the hardest. There will always jobs that need to be filled. What there won’t always be is people who need new friends. In my experience, making friends in a new city is the hardest part of a big move.
You spent years cultivating friendships. Then, you decide – for whatever reason – to move across the state or even across the country. You secure a new job + a place to live. Though you have your new coworkers, you will still want to meet more with similar interests + lifestyles. There are a few, simple things you can do to start making friends in your new city.
Tips for Making Friends in a New City
Follow up with old connections. Check on LinkedIn + Facebook to see what cities your old friends are living in. Some of the connections you made a few years ago could have also moved to your current city. Follow up with them + re-establish that relationship. You may even want to post something about your move on your social channels + see who bites to say they live there, too!
Use your current network. Ask around. There are bound to be a few people in your network who have connections or friends in your new city. The key to making friends in your new city is to find people you have things in common with. A friend of a friend is a very likely candidate in that respect! If a friend likes you both, there is a good chance you will like each other.
Join organizations. Organizations like the American Marketing Association, an alumni group, or even a running club are great places to meet professionals in your field + people with similar interest. See what groups you might be able to join. I made most of my friends in Austin through people in the ADPi alumnae group + their friends by extension. I also made a lot of friends through The Skimm‘s Skimmbassador program.
Attend local events. Go to happy hours, conferences, classes, and other events that interest you. You are bound to find similar people at these events.
Become a volunteer. Volunteer for a cause you care about. Other volunteers probably have similar passions to you. It will also help you get to know your new city.
Become a mentor. Many college organizations have mentorship programs with students + professionals. Not only will you get to be a resource for a student, but you can also connect with other mentors.
Moving to a new place can be scary- especially when you have a strong network back home. It can also be very rewarding. If you are willing to put yourself out there, you should have no problem making friends in a new city.