Two things that are always hard to do: Move to a new state and network.
Packing your whole life into boxes and leaving a lot of the people you’ve worked so hard to connect with only to start all over and network again—one of those things at a time is daunting enough, but trying to do both at the same time sounds crippling! But maybe this is a dream job, an exceptional opportunity, or you’ve always wanted to live in this city, so the move is happening.
How do you make networking a little easier when you get there?
At One Tech, we help place people in engineering and technical positions all over the country, and a lot of recruits say: Start networking before you go!
If networking, in general, is challenging for you, check out our guide for taking the edge off of building those critical professional connections.
And here are some tips specifically for those relocating to a new state and needing to establish a new set of go-to mentors, allies, and professional colleagues.
Find Out Who You Already Know
You might be surprised to discover you probably already know a few people living in the place you’re moving to who can be a starting support system for you. Check out social media, ask your current colleagues or former classmates, and make a list of people you can meet upon arrival.
Then reach out to those people before you move. Call, email, message on social media, whatever you’re comfortable with, and catch up on their lives. Then let them know you’ll be moving to their locale, and you’d really like to meet up and get to know other people in the area.
Even if you don’t know a person very well, just messaging them with a simple request, like “Hi, I’m moving to New York next month, and my friend so-and-so said you would be a good person to talk to,” is a good place to start.
When people know you’re moving and looking to make connections again, they’re often happy to make introductions for you and help you build your network.
Use Your Alumni Channel & Existing Contacts for Introductions
If you can’t find a single person within your friend groups who live in the city you’re moving to, that’s OK. There are more ways to connect.
Tap some of your existing contacts, no matter where they are, to see if they know someone in the area. A current colleague, roommate, or mentor may be able to help you track down someone close by that you can introduce yourself to and start building a connection with.
You can also search through your alumni or professional association directory to find people in your new city who you already have some connection to either through school or profession. Reach out to the people in your field who look interesting directly (most alumni directories provide email addresses for easy access), or join your alma mater’s social media group and ask if anyone has moved to the city recently or if they have advice on how to get started there.
Once you get into town, see if your alumni group has a local chapter where you can attend events or if your pro association has social nights, and go to them as often as you can.
Even if you don’t know anyone in these organizations directly, you’ll have an in because you’re affiliated with the school or professional group, and you can instantly start meeting people who will grow your network quickly.
Volunteer in the Community
Before you move, reach out to a local organization you might like to volunteer for. Volunteering in community-facing organizations and non-profits is a great way to really see how a community works, how it’s structured, and who to know. Set up a call with the director or volunteer coordinator and see what opportunities will be available when you arrive.
You’ll meet so many people from various fields who can help you adjust to your new surroundings and who can help you find positions within companies you really want to work for. At the same time, you’ll be helping out your new community. It’s a win-win!
Be Social on Social Media
Online socializing is here to stay and can make for a seamless transition into any area of the world you want to go. So use social media, from Facebook to LinkedIn, to your advantage! Join local or regional professional groups or groups you have similar interests in on social media, participate in their conversations, and start connecting with people online.
Ask people how they got started when moving into the city, how they built up their business, where they go in the city for fun, what there is to do on the weekends, and anything that builds a social or professional connection.
If career networking sounds too daunting to try first, then start with simple socializing. Focus on your interests and hobbies and search for the groups and people who you’d like to befriend. See if there is a community band, kickball league, gym, board game competition, rowing team, or whatever passion you have, look for that group online and join them.
You never know who will be the most helpful when it comes to transitioning into a new city and building your career, so don’t be afraid to focus on the social side, too.
Try a Trial Period
If you have the time, money, and transportation, try visiting the city you plan to move to for a few days or over a long weekend or two. Schedule to meet one or more of your contacts, discover groups or organizations you’d like to join, and start searching for that perfect house or apartment.
Plus, when you test out your new city, you’ll have a chance to see where things are, routes you can take, how much traffic there is, restaurants and shopping places you should try, etc. By acquainting yourself with the new location before you move, it will make your initial months there so much easier to navigate.
Let One Tech Help You Connect Wherever You Are
Using a recruitment firm as a way to make engaging professional connections is a surefire way to make networking professionally painless no matter where you are. If you’re seeking a job within the construction, technical, and engineering industries, One Tech Staffing is your best source for reaching out to the employers you want to work with.
Our team gets to know you, from your goals to your achievements, and helps you land the job you’ve always wanted. Whether you need professional guidance with your resume, looking to garner more job opportunities, or want more preparation for your next interview, One Tech has your back!
See our job board for listings throughout the nation and send us your resume or connect with us online to start making your recruitment process smooth and easy!