Amanda is a young professional that has recently moved to Chicago for work. She accepted a job as a financial analyst for a large international bank and has been acclimating to her new role. Coming from a relatively small college in the Midwest, Chicago is a big change for her and she’s been finding it hard to relate to people in the city. Leaving a familiar environment to go to a new city is often a very hard transition. The lack of friends and family in the area can make it hard for anyone to adjust. What steps can Amanda take to begin the process of making the city feel more like home? In the rest of this article we will go over some strategies that I used to meet people and explore new cities that I’ve moved to.
Reach out to people at work
The best place to start your search for likeminded individuals is with your coworkers. Often times, your coworkers are new to the environment as well and that’s something you can instantly connect on. I remember when I arrived on my first project site in Washington DC, my roommate and I coordinated a happy hour and invited all our coworkers. This happy hour was a great way for all of us to get to know each other and eventually we made it a regular occurrence.
It doesn’t have to be a big occasion where you invite every coworker out either. It can be as simple as inviting a coworker to lunch at a nearby restaurant or inviting some of your coworkers to play sports on the weekend. Any way for you to connect with them will help to grow a positive relationship. Make the commitment to interact with your coworkers outside of work and find similarities you can relate to.
Group gathering sites
In big cities, there are often many websites that advertise activities and events. My favorite website when I was in DC was a site called “Meetup.com”. Meetup.com allows you to specify a location to focus your search and will display all the activities that are happening in the area that day, week and month. The great thing about this website is that there’s a wide variety of activities advertised so there’s really something for everyone. One time I remember reading about an event where people met up to play “Pokemon Go” together. The website also allows you to create events for a small fee. You can use this functionality to coordinate an event that you find interesting. Check out the events happening in your area and see if any pique your interest.
As someone who’s a big fan of competitive sports, intramurals has always been one of my favorite pastimes. Playing sports often involves teamwork and helps establish a bond with the individuals you play with. I can tell you from personal experience that I played with the same people in DC for multiple intramural basketball seasons, even though we were randomly assigned to our original team. This is also an awesome activity to involve your coworkers in. Starting an intramural team with your coworkers can be a great way for you to interact with them while participating in an enjoyable activity.
Traveling is one of the top interests of young people across the world. You may enjoy travelling to other cities/ countries and taking in all they have to offer. But what about exploring your local area? Site seeing in your local area is not only a great way to explore the new environment around you; it’s also a great way to meet people. Guided tours often have an interactive component to them where conversations can spark. If the people you meet at these events are local, you may even coordinate another meet up. Another added benefit of this option is that even if you don’t meet anyone you connect with, you still get the opportunity to explore a new environment and broaden your experiences.
Bringing all together
After a few weekends spent alone in her apartment, Amanda decided that she wanted to be more assertive about meeting people. She found a local intramural softball league and created her own team where she was assigned random teammates. She also coordinated a Friday happy hour which many of her co-workers participated in. Her co-workers had a blast and they plan on doing it again soon. She then began looking for events to attend on “Meetup.com”. On the site, she found a hiking group that travelled to neighboring trails on Sundays. As an avid outdoors woman, Amanda was thrilled about finding the group. Along joining the outdoors group, Amanda began to explore local sites and learn about the history of the city. On one of her tours of the city, she met a girl that is now one of her good friends.
Putting yourself out there is not always easy but it’s essential for anyone who wants to meet and build relationships with people. Being in a new environment may be uncomfortable but it shouldn’t discourage you. Now take the advice provided in this article and go meet some great people to share in your journey of life. Did you find this article helpful? Do you have any other insights you feel our readers would benefit from? I would love to hear from you.
My book recommendation for this article is “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” by Yuval Noah Harari. Although this isn’t a book about meeting people, it does provide some great insight into how humans evolved over time and how they interact with one another. This is one of the best books written on human history and I highly recommend it.