To move up, you must move out… At least that’s what they say. Or you’re a college graduate starting their first role in sports and moving to a new city. The thought of moving away from home, or from a place you’ve called home for four years can be scary. Not having friends, a familiar place to work out, let alone the grocery store you grew up going to can be daunting. This may deter people from promotions and pursing their dreams, but for those who take the road less traveled, it can be well worth it.
Having lived in eight states (and counting), a new community is something I am constantly building. With my long-term girlfriend being a travel nurse, we move every three months to a new city and state, and we love it. It allows us the opportunity to see parts of the U.S. we only could’ve dreamt of and make friends and memories along the way. Don’t get me wrong, it is a tad nerve wracking knowing we might not know anyone in the city and need to find where to do our daily shopping, but when we leave, we have built a community with new friends and memories.
When moving to a city for a job, it can be easy to rely on colleagues and work friends, which is great to get a lay of the land. But what happens when their careers come calling and they move away? What happens? I would challenge you to go out of your comfort zone.
Below are my recommendations for when you move to a new market:
Find Your League
Most likely you’re working in sports because you played sports growing up, and sports is a great way to build your network and make friends.
HIIT workouts, hiking, running, skiing, and ultimate frisbee are just a few of the sports I participate in. Write down what sports you like playing and participating in, then use Facebook and Google to find out some of the top leagues/gyms in your local area. Was fortunate enough to be introduced to Bodi in Scottsdale, AZ which was one of the most welcoming communities out there. There is a plethora of hiking and running groups for all levels and a great way to meet locals. Check out meetup.com, MindBody, or ClassPass for local activities/gyms.
College Alumni Group
A local college group can be very useful to find common ground. Reach out to your alma mater about events in your area. If they don’t have a local chapter, utilize LinkedIn. Go to the search bar, click enter, filter to your city and alma mater. Now you’ll have a list of all the people that work in your area that went to your school.
If you are a religious person and attend services, there are probably a number of groups within your church, synagogue, mosque, etc. to get involved with. By going consistently, you start to recognize familiar faces and make it easier to approach/be approached.
These three quick and easy tools should kickstart your social life and have your nerves at bay with a new place. Best of luck and wish you many great memories along your journey.