Good morning everyone. During the month of October I will be featuring a Connectober guest post every Friday. It’s a great way to get some extra opinions and tips about connecting, networking, and nurturing relationships. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Check out my “What The Hell Is Connectober Post.” Now let’s get started. Susan take it away!
Hello Bagel lovers! Or, er, bagel haters. Although, to hate a bagel is an awful thing. They are so delicious!
Anyways, I am not here to talk about bagels, or even food for that matter. Although, I do blog about mostly food and fitness over at my internet home The Great Balancing Act. My name is Susan and Morgan asked me to do a little piece for her fabulous “Connectober” series on meeting people in a new city.
Just over three months ago, I moved from my small home province of New Brunswick to the large and bustling city of Toronto. With two and a half million people, it should be easy to meet people here, right? Weeellll, not always.
I’m lucky that I already had a group of healthy living bloggers here ready to paint the town green with me. As well as a handful of friends from back home. But no matter where you are, you can meet people and create some great relationships! Here’s what I’ve learned in my three short months (cause you know, I’m a Toronto pro by now )
I know. You’re tired, Glee is on, you have laundry to do, you work early in the morning. Screw it! If you get an invite to a social gathering, take it!! You have no idea how much fun you could have. Or how many amazing people you could meet. Get that lazy butt into some nice (yet comfortable) shoes and out the door.
There were a lot of people in Toronto I hadn’t seen for years when I arrived here. Instead of waiting until the day I awkwardly ran into them on the subway, I let them know I was coming to town and wanted to catch up! Some have still fallen through the cracks, but I’ve been able to rekindle other old friendships.
I’m lucky that Toronto has at least one interesting or fun event happening pretty much every day of the week. Food fairs, concerts, lectures, festivals of all kinds. Scour the newspapers and interwebs to find neat events happening in your community. Go by yourself if you have to. You never know who you’ll bump into and what conversations could be had.
Get a job.
My main job as a personal trainer has allowed me to meet tons of interesting characters. It’s great for professional networking, but not a great way to meet personal friends. So I took up a part-time retail job for a little extra socializing on the weekends. I’ve met tons more people that way!
I know giving your time away for free sounds counterproductive, but I’ve met amazing people through volunteering! It doesn’t have to be agonizing, choose companies and organizations you love. I love food and running, so working with The Simply Bar and Girls on the Run only made sense for me. Even little things like lending a hand at art events or races can be a fun way to meet new folks.
Take the initiative.
Don’t sit by your phone bummed that no one is calling you. Guaranteed there are people out there bummed that you aren’t calling them! Get to it! Things don’t start to happen until you start to make them happen. If you want something to do Saturday night, don’t expect the perfect occasion to fall into your lap. You gotta go out searching for it.
Join a club or class.
I’m a huge fan of running clubs as they are free and active! You can also take dance classes, yoga classes, join a hiking or rowing club. If exercise isn’t your thing, I know of a great knitting group in Toronto. Y’all, there are SO many clubs that are just waiting to have you a part of them!
Use the internet.
People still get really weirded out by this, but we are living in a tech-obsessed culture. By reaching out to other bloggers in the Toronto area I’ve been able to meet wonderful people! (Morgan included) Not just that, but I’ve started using Twitter as a means to make connections in my new city. Connecting with people over the internet is also a great professional tool. The more connections you make the better!
Meeting new people is scary. Trust me, I know. Sometimes you just have to throw all caution to the wind and say “what do I have to lose?” I mean, even if you embarrass yourself, you leave with a great tale of embarrassment to tell!
Question of the Day: Any items you want to add to the list? Tips on meeting people in a new city? Cause ya know, I’ve got friends now, but a girl could use a date!