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    Networking while abroad

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    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.

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    Posted by: Emma Clark
    Categories: Advice and Tips, Growing a Business, Marketing and Social Media Basics | Comments Off on Networking while abroad

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