Do you want to move to a “big” city like Los Angeles, Boston or Washington, DC?
Before you choose an apartment, check out the new interactive guide from HotPads, an apartment and rental home search engine. As part of a report on the most affordable cities for 2015 college grads, HotPads shows you the ideal neighborhood based on your occupation and median income.
Example: if you’re a computer programmer in Miami who makes $65,000 a year, you can expect to spend 28 percent of your salary on rent in an area called Wynwood and 14 percent in Flagami.
Pretty cool, right?
And once you find the perfect apartment, how do you build a network? How do you let the young professional and general business community know you exist?
Networking is a great way to meet new people, make the city feel more familiar and develop business connections (which makes your boss happy). I know “networking” can be an overwhelming topic — especially in a brand new town — so let’s keep it simple.
How to Build a Professional Network in a New City
Step 1: Find a group
To find other young professionals who want to connect, Google this line:
“[your city] chamber of commerce young professionals”
Your local chamber of commerce, which exists to support area businesses, likely has a young professional division.
If you can’t find a “YP” group, send an email like the one below to a marketing person at the chamber:
My name is ______, and I am interested in networking opportunities for young adults here in town. I am curious if you know about anything through the chamber or in the general community.
Please feel free to connect me with the right person or people.
Thanks so much.
Step 2: Join a group
OK, so you just moved to Dallas and, through the google search we discussed, found the “Young Professionals” division of the Dallas Chamber of Commerce. I told you it works!
You check out membership details (maybe ask your company to help with the cost) and join up. Great decision.
Step 3: Attend your first meeting
As the new guy or girl at the meeting, people will want to know what you’re all about. No problem. Be more than happy to share who you are, why you moved to town and what you do for work (and for fun).
But don’t forget to throw the same questions right back at everyone else. Use the six most important words in networking to make a strong first impression and learn about others. And before you know it, you lay the foundation for a professional network.
Step 4: Take on responsibility
After a few meetings or events, ask if you can join a committee or handle a task.
The quickest way to earn respect within an organization is to say “I’ll do it.”
Put in the effort, follow through and you will gain the trust of other group members. Plus, you will get to know people on a deeper level because you work on a project together.
Step 5: LinkedIn and Lunch
Connect with group members on LinkedIn and ask a few if they’d like to meet up for lunch.
A lunchtime conversation is a great way to learn what someone is all about since you have more time than a quick chat at a happy hour.
Step 6: Be seen
To make the most of a networking group, you need to attend meetings and events as much as possible. Otherwise, you’re a member in name only, and while the organization looks snazzy on a resume, it does little for your career.
Relationships are everything.
Step 7: Bring in a new recruit
By now, you have joined a networking group, took on a project, gained respect and made your presence known. Now solidify you are a valuable addition and bring someone new into the fold.
That way, you prove you’re interested in the health of the organization as well as your own career.
We often think “Oh, some people are just better at networking than others.”
Nope. Not true.
Anyone can find a group, join up, attend meetings, take on responsibility, meet other members for lunch, be visible and recruit someone new.
By then, you’re no longer the “new person” in a strange place.
You’re an important part of the business community you now call home.
How do you make yourself “known” in a new city?
Featured photo: Christine Warner Hawks (Flickr)