How to Build a New Social Network As a Young Professional

The possibilities seem endless when moving to a new city, but so are the questions: where will you work, where will you live, and most of all – how do you start to create a new social network? Moving can be a complex and lonely experience as people try to manage the logistics, orient themselves with the layout of their new city, negotiate employment land mines and adjust to a new social reality. As an "outsider" it can be difficult to know how to begin to make friends. The office is an excellent starting point, but not everyone is fortunate enough to have a job offer immediately when they arrive in a new city and the search will have to start in finding people in their twenties and thirties to befriend.


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    Figure out where in town the people your age hang out. Different age groups usually visit different areas for socializing. Look for popular destination areas and neighborhoods.
    • Visit coffee shops and take time to linger. Offer your extra seat to someone who needs one. Be personable.
    • Visit local pubs in popular districts that cater to your age group. You never know who you’ll meet during Happy Hour. Sit at the bar and don't hide away in a booth. If you're adopted by a fun group of people to hang out, remember to exchange contact information, Myspace or Facebook details, etc. Also, don't forget to buy a round.
    • Take in the local music scene. See bands around your new town. Don't be afraid of striking up conversation between sets.
    • Look for festivals or block parties. St. Patrick's Day, Mardi Gras, Cinco de Mayo are a common holidays for some cities to block off streets and throw great parties.
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    Look for clubs based on your interests.
    • Running or cycling clubs can be good because you'll swap stories while basking your tired legs in an endorphin high. They're also great ways to cover a lot of ground and explore a new city.
    • Book clubs can help you meet others who also like to lose themselves in a good novel. The main thing is that you’re striking up conversations with new and interesting people.
    • Sports clubs (hockey, basketball, softball, soccer, tennis, golf and ultimate frisbee leagues) offer excellent opportunities to meet people, get fit, have a great time and sometimes explore neighboring cities if your team participates in tournaments. Find a sport you’ve always wanted to play and get involved. Look in free weeklies or community gyms for sign up information.
    • Theatre clubs - Assuming another identity and putting yourself on stage in front of the whole world may seem risky, but the benefits you reap will be even greater. Theatre is a promising way to meet outgoing people.
    • Cultural and religious organizations. Familiarity breeds comfort, so seek out those common ties and make yourself known.
    • Search out young professional groups in your town. It may be as easy as doing an online search or asking around work. Look for signs posted at business hot spots, popular lunch places and bulletin boards.
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    Accept invitations to parties and social events even if you're invited by people you don't know well or have much in common with. It's always an opportunity to get to know them better or meet others at the same party.
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    Ask for advice. Ask people for advice who are in your age group and could possibly have the same interest. Ask them about fun places to eat, dance, have drinks, meet for happy hour, etc. Showing interest in these things and asking for advice is also a way to open the door for an invitation.
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    Sign up for social networking sites. Myspace and Facebook are popular choices. If you already have a page, remember to change your city or network. When you meet new people ask if they're on Myspace, Facebook or another social site. Check out their profiles to see if they're a good match, if they have common interests, if they may be a bad choice, creepy, etc.
    • It can be a safer way to screen and make contact with people than by sharing emails and mobile numbers.
    • Befriend the new people you meet and add them to your pages.
    • Look for pages run by social groups, clubs, bars or restaurants in your new town. Add them to your friends. They may send out updates and invitations to events.
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    Join a gym. It's good for the head, heart, body and soul, the gym also provides an easy environment in which to meet others. The camaraderie that comes from collectively punishing yourselves in an aerobic or weight-lifting class is unbeatable. Look for gyms in hip parts of town or near popular neighborhoods. Visit it at various times when people your age will also be attending. Strike up a conversation with the person on the treadmill next you. See where it takes you.
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    Volunteer for charity service. Help others and help yourself at the same time. United Way and Red Cross are two large and deserving causes. Local food banks and charities based in your new town are a great way to get connected with your new city and people in it.


  • Be friendly and engaging with your new neighbors and co-workers. Not speaking and not being friendly isn't going to get you a lot of invitations.
  • Resist the urge to be a recluse. Make yourself go out at least a few times each week.
  • Good friendships take time, but the more you get involved in your community, the more at home you’ll feel and the more stories you’ll have to share. By the time you’ve made your way through this list, you’ll be a professional icebreaker. Good luck!


  • Set aside money for entertainment. You'll be going out often to meet new people. Cover charges, tabs and meals may be more common.
  • Don't feel obligated to socialize with people you find offensive just because you don't have options.
  • Always keep a map of the new city with you. You may find yourself someplace strange with new friends and needing to get home. Don't risk getting lost.
  • Drink responsibly.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Mobile Phone
  • Page on social networking site.
  • Memberships to gyms or other private organizations
  • Transportation to various locations

Sources and Citations

Article Info

Categories: Forming Friendships