I recently caught up with a friend who I studied with during a semester abroad in Norway. (Side note: if you’re thinking of moving abroad or applying for a master’s abroad, I vlogged my experience here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuimTReUJ38&t=50s)
This friend had moved to Toronto almost a year ago for a permanent job position, knowing practically no one in the city. Despite the culture shock he experienced even solely by moving from a different province in Canada to Ontario, he was faced with another problem: meeting people in the city.
Although he was working with a lot of people his age, he was having trouble meeting other guys (he is working at a cosmetics company) and even then, it was tough meeting people he would naturally click with and wasn’t forced into being friends with. It got me thinking – although I had moved to a brand new city without knowing anyone, it was in a school setting, and therefore it was extremely easy to be social. However, moving to a brand new city for work is a whole new ballpark. If you find yourself in this situation, here are some ways to meet people:
Make an Effort at Work
At first, the easiest way to make social connections is in the place where you’re already going to be most of your time – at work. Ask around the office and see if your workplace does any ‘work socials’. They might go for drinks on Fridays, team-building on Tuesdays, friendly basketball on Thursdays…and be open-minded. If a coworker asks you to grab lunch, say yes! You never know who you’ll click with when you’re not talking about work stuff, and if the worst case scenario is that you have pleasant interactions at work…why not?
Sign Up for Activities You Enjoy
There’s no better place to meet likeminded people than somewhere doing the thing you love most. SoulCycle? Parkour? Jazz bar? Volunteering? Do your research and find out the best places in the city to pick up your old hobbies (or make new ones!) and you might be surprised at how many people you meet that way.
It’s 2019, and online dating is more prominent than ever. Well, have you heard of…online FRIENDING? Apps like Bumble BFF allow you to meet people with similar interests that may also be new to town or looking to meet new people. A new workout partner, travel buddy, or someone who also wants to take French lessons? Yes please.
Reach Out to People You Know
Obviously, most of the time you may not know anyone from your inner circle living in the new city. However, you may have met someone years ago while travelling, or from college who you may not have kept in touch with but still have on Facebook. My suggestion: reach out and be honest. Let them know you’re new to town and are having trouble adjusting. A lot of people have been in your shoes or can empathize, and chances are they’ll at least agree to meet you for coffee. Best case scenario: you hit it off and they introduce you to their group of friends!
Be a ‘Yes’ Person
This is probably the most important suggestion of all. The key to meeting people in a new city and not missing out on opportunities to experience new things and people is to be a ‘yes’ person. When someone asks you if you want to join on an activity, say yes. Push your boundaries, and don’t overthink – great things happen when you leave your comfort zone.