Networking while abroad

city-sunny-people-street-source-unsplash By Di Scully

Whether it's a permanent move or an extended vacation, it is a thrilling moment when you make the decision to head overseas. The opportunity to start over, find an exciting new direction, explore a new city and divulge into a new culture creates an unyielding level of excitement and anticipation within. However, it’s not uncommon to subsequently feel the pull of doubt and possibly fear when you contemplate how this move will impact your existing business or prospect of finding new work.

To get you started, your first step is all about finding new friends and making new connections. Here are some ways you can build your own network in a new city.

BEFORE YOU LEAVE

If you have the time to plan your relocation overseas, there are things you can do to ensure your transition is as smooth as possible.

Maximise your existing contacts. Now is the time to reach out, be fearlessly friendly and make the connection with those you know. Do you have a friend, acquaintance or distant family member who currently lives in your new city? And don’t forget to exhaust your contacts on social media. Are you friends with people on Facebook who may currently live overseas or who have lived in your new city? Is there anyone you follow on Instagram who has inspired you on this journey that your could reach out to? Another great place to explore your network of contacts is from university. Attend an Alumni night to connect with people in your industry who may know someone aboard they could introduce you to.  The more people and connections you have before departure, the more comfortable the leap to your new country will be.

Connect online. The internet is an amazing tool to connect with people overseas. Is there an Australian group or society who currently live in your new city that have a website or Facebook page to connect? For example, in New York City, there is a fabulous community called Australian Women in New York. This group of women are so diverse in age, demographic, life experiences and skills that you are bound to connect with someone who can help you get started! In the early stages of setting up your home and finding your feet, a familiar accent who speaks your language and understands the 'Australian' way, will help you feel more at home. If you are seeking out connections in your area of work, LinkedIn is a great resource to utilise. If you haven’t already set up your own profile page, then do this before you leave and try to make connections with people in your industry prior to your departure.

IN YOUR NEW CITY

When you touch base in your new town, don’t let a month or two pass you by without achieving the goals you set out to do. Here’s a few things you can start immediately to get you connected with the locals.

Volunteer work or an internship are a great way to devote your time to something you are passionate about in your new city, while you have time available to you. Both fields of work will lead you to like-minded people, new connections and potential job opportunities that will no doubt help you feel more settled and in touch with the community around you.

Enrol in a class. There is so much to learn from a new city and the way your field of work operates there. So make sure you enrol in a whole host of events, classes, courses and conferences in your area of expertise or interest. These spaces will allow to you immediately connect with people who share a similar passion and skill, but at the same time, allow you to gain a better understanding of how things operate in your new city.

Be social. To find work overseas, you not only have to network in your area of expertise, but participate in social activities outside of work-related events to make friends too. Consider this, how many people do you know who have found work from contacts in the industry, word of mouth or friends? So if the offer for a coffee catch up, dinner or friday night drinks presents itself to you, embrace it! You never know who you may meet and the next opportunity waiting on the horizon for you.

Networking is all about building your community and the more people you know, the more you can reach out to when you need a favour.

Interior designer Diana Scully owns and operates her own interior design firm Spaces by Diana that’s all about designing beautiful, personalised homes to reflect the people who live in it. Diana also has her own lifestyle blog, Spaces + Places, where she regularly writes about inspiring spaces to see and visit from around the world and shares her recent travel adventures. Follow Diana on FacebookInstagram and Pinterest.

By Di Scully

Whether it's a permanent move or an extended vacation, it is a thrilling moment when you make the decision to head overseas. The opportunity to start over, find an exciting new direction, explore a new city and divulge into a new culture creates an unyielding level of excitement and anticipation within. However, it’s not uncommon to subsequently feel the pull of doubt and possibly fear when you contemplate how this move will impact your existing business or prospect of finding new work.

To get you started, your first step is all about finding new friends and making new connections. Here are FIVE ways you can build your own network in a new city.

How a vacation can help your business

sky-people-whitespace-freedom copy

 

By Diana Scully

 

Most of us find ourselves dreaming about our next vacation or travel holiday but don’t book anything. Many of us follow travel accounts on Instagram, commenting on how much we’d love to visit this destination, but then don’t take any steps to get there. We want more time in life to take holidays, spend time with the family and just relax but find ourselves at the end of the year with accrued paid leave owing to us. So what’s going on?

For many of us, taking time away from our work, whether we are in paid employment or run our own business, can feel overwhelming.  But its one view to be busy and another to confuse it with having a negative impact on your success. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always felt a personal change upon returning from a vacation, for the better. And for the positive impacts it has on my work, taking a vacation is no longer perceived as a luxury, but rather an essential part in the outcome of my busy work/life schedule. Here are five reasons why I make taking the time to travel each year, a necessity in my life:

A change in perspective. Travel gives you the opportunity to get away from your usual routine, the people you meet, what you eat, how you sleep and where you work… You begin to view things differently, think outside the box and allow yourself to take on something new.

When you travel, especially to underdeveloped nations or unknown destinations, you open yourself up to new ideas. You begin to appreciate how different life can be and you return to your own lifestyle with a fresh perspective and point of view. Consequently, the flow-on effect leads to new ideas or solutions to problems you may have been facing prior to your vacation, by allowing yourself to think in new ways.

Take a break and recharge your batteries. Travel gives you a chance to renew your energy, find your balance and re-align yourself. Most people reach a point throughout the year when logic becomes cloudy. Productivity declines and enthusiasm wanes. Taking a break, relaxing and switching off are ways to refuel yourself and find your positive energy. This opportunity allows you to indulge in your own needs for a period of time. And when you return, improve your productivity at work with your new, positive outlook on life.

To push your limits. Travel allows you to break a routine that at the best of times, is designed to make you work efficiently and effectively each week. But in doing so, you also build yourself a comfort zone and forget your ability to push boundaries to grow your business and work opportunities. If you’re thinking about applying for a new role, starting a new business or growing an existing one - you need to think beyond the norm. You need to push your boundaries. If you expose yourself to this way of thinking, you will teach yourself how to build the courage to do this in other areas of life, i.e. work, fitness and health.

Find inspiration. Travel gives you the opportunity to think for yourself for uninterrupted periods of time. Taking a vacation allows you to consider and contemplate issues/topics/opportunities that have been sitting on your to-do list for some time. When you give yourself the chance to think about something else than your daily routine and work commitments, you open your mind to new possibilities.

Network and meet new people. Travel allows you to network organically, especially if you travel independently or on your own.  Travel forces you to talk to people, ask for help, seek advice and start conversations with strangers. It also shows you your strengths and weaknesses in your ability to communicate, adapt to new situations and accommodate different cultures and customs.

Start changing your perception about taking time off from work to travel. Reverse the logic and the tendency to perceive a vacation as an indulgence in life, but rather, focus on the benefits travel can offer you at work and your general overall happiness.

Images by Pexels.

Interior designer Diana Scully owns and operates her own interior design firm Spaces by Diana that’s all about designing beautiful, personalised homes to reflect the people who live in it. Diana also has her own lifestyle blog, Spaces + Places, where she regularly writes about inspiring spaces to see and visit from around the world and shares her recent travel adventures. This year she has plans to spend time abroad in the US. Follow Diana on FacebookInstagram and Pinterest.