A Guide To Meeting People As An Adult In A New City
In late December of 2017, just days before Christmas, my husband and I moved from Los Angeles to Denver.
We had lived in L.A. for 15 years; it was home. But my husband’s new job was a great opportunity, so we decided to go for it.
But then there was me: I was in my late 30s and I needed new friends, a new network, and a new job.
Being the task-oriented person that I am, I needed a plan for sanity’s sake — and to make sure that I was leaving as little as possible to chance.
So I put together a to-do list:
Make new friends.
Find good restaurants and wine bars.
Build a local network.
Figure out if I really need to get snow boots.
By month five, I’d already made friends, found my favorite sushi restaurant and wine bar, and had begun building a network, started consulting work, and later, I got a job.
On the surface, most would say, “OK, great. You crossed out your tasks, congrats!” However, if I’m being honest, it came at a cost.
As it turns out, the downside of being task-oriented is that it’s easy to lose yourself in the tasks and miss sight of the bigger picture.
Here I was, with a completed list but also frustrated, tired, and wondering where I’d gone wrong.
If there’s a piece of advice I’d give to people moving to a new city, it would be this: Planning is good and helpful, but don’t forget to give yourself a fucking break. Moving to a new city is not easy.
With that in mind, here are the top resources I used. What worked, what didn’t, and what I’d do differently the next time around.
For Making Friends
Hey VINA!: It’s Tinder for making girlfriends. Swipe left to pass and right to connect. The novelty of it got me to use it more often at the beginning. It’s easy to use, and I did meet a couple of women with whom I’m becoming friends.
Would I recommend it? Yes. I’d just advise checking how much effort you’re putting into it versus how many people you’re meeting. Also, don’t focus all your efforts in one place.
For Growing Your Network
Ladies Get Paid: An awesome Slack channel where you can connect with women all over the country. It has subgroups on work opportunities, growth opportunities, advice, resources, and more. I’m not as active as I was when I first signed up, but I think it’s a must.
Would I recommend it? Yes. Plus, when you first move to a place where don’t know anyone, it gives you an immediate community and sounding board.
Shapr: This one is the Tinder for networking. Similar to my experience with Hey VINA!, the novelty had me using it quite a bit at the beginning. However, I had a mixed experience. I stopped using it because it seemed to be mostly people with more of business development background or people who wanted to recruit for multilevel marketing businesses. One the one hand, I did connect with a couple of women who are amazing and with whom I am still in touch (one of them wrote this article for FRANK). But on the other hand, there were some savory experiences. For example, I connected with a woman with whom I had a great and insightful chat, but who proceeded to send me a rude email once I mentioned I was not interested in joining a webinar for her multilevel marketing group.
Would I recommend it? It’s worth a try to see if it’s something that might work for you.
For Meeting People in General
Nextdoor: It’s an online social community for neighborhoods. I posted a thread in the general forum and asked if anyone would be interested in doing a happy hour for professional women at a wine bar in the neighborhood. I had over 40 replies, so I went ahead and organized a couple.
Would I recommend it? Yes. Mainly because it’s a different way to connect with your neighbors with whom you may have a common interest. However, I wouldn’t volunteer myself to be the organizer every time!
Your network: This is the obvious one, and there are various ways to go about it. A couple of ideas on how to go about it:
- Email your friends and ask them to introduce you to anyone they might know in your new city.
- Go through your Facebook and LinkedIn contacts and check to see if anyone had moved to the same city. You might be surprised!
Would I recommend it? 100 percent.
Got questions, comments or just want to share your experience meeting people in a new city? Tweet me at @luzplaza.