IF YOU ARE NEW TO TOWN – START NETWORKING

BE SEEN, GET KNOWN  AND MOVE AHEAD!

 Loneliness is the number one challenge people moving to a new area will experience. Anyone who has experienced a major move in their life can certainly relate to the frustration of not knowing where the dentist, doctor, supermarket, local post office, gym or even a good restaurant can become such a challenge. Much money, energy and time is wasted trying to find any or all of the above. So, if this dilemma sounds familiar, start networking.

 Local and community papers and websites  are a great source of “what’s on”. Your aim is to connect with 2-3 people in a community, who can answer your questions, give you directions and introduce you to other people. So even if going out alone is the last thing you want to do, it is compulsory for meeting new people. For the first few weeks or months, you will be constantly called on to move out of your comfort zone, but it will be worth it in the long run.

 You may find these ideas will help you form your own networks:

  • Every area has a Chamber of Commerce and whether you are in business or not, it’s a great way to introduce yourself to people in the area. From this network, you can then connect with others. It pays to be upfront and ask the specific question, what other networks are available in town? If you never ask the questions the answer if always no.  Attend Women’s Networking Australia events regularly, and become known as the key person in your industry www.womensnetwork.com.au

* Get a business card. Include your name, the work you do, your contact details (temporary or not) and a reliable contact phone number. If you are retired you might describe yourself via your interests – Make a list of what you need to know – even the smallest detail. Add to this list on a daily basis and carry the list with you when you go out.

* No matter how exhausted you are, get out of your home every day – even if it’s just to walk to the corner store. Not talking to anyone, other than on the phone, can be very demoralising for 24 hours per day.

  • Find a coffee shop or juice bar and become a “regular” – even if you are not a coffee drinker – . Visit daily and start conversations with the other regulars.

* Decide how much free time you will have each week and then study the local directories/community papers and highlight places/groups/courses you may be interested in. Phone the organisers and explain your situation. You are almost guaranteed they will welcome you with open arms.

* Once you do attend an event and you decide that these people are the sort of people you want to befriend, you may like to offer to be a support person for their committee. Volunteers are rarely rejected.

  • Creating regular patterns, be it exercise, shopping, doing the washing, etc. . .will reconnect you with others who have similar time tables. Hi, my name’s Robyn. . . .. . is a great start

* Once you feel you have “found your feet” so to speak, consider having a small gathering. You may create a “welcome to the neighbourhood” invitation and put it in your neighbours letterbox. Plan for an informal event, b.y.o. with a set time frame and include an rsvp phone number. Don’t be discouraged if you only attract a small group. Always remember, “from little things, big things grow.

  • Join a gym, golf club or local sporting group – it’s a great way to meet new people and keep fit at the same time.

 * Finally, from every event that you attend, you want to arrange one more event to go to – whether it’s a week or a month ahead. . . .Every one needs at least one thing every week to look forward to. Pretty soon you will see someone who looks like you used to feel – you will recall that sense of loneliness, confusion and at times frustration. Put yourself in their shoes and make the first approach – who knows where that will lead to.

Happy networking until next time

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