There are all kinds of reasons that bring you to a new city: a new job, your partner’s new job, to be closer to family, and so on.  An often overlooked part of moving is the need to set up a professional network in your new location whether or not you are in an active job search.  Building a strong professional network is important — you never know when knowing that extra person might come in handy.

First off, start looking for a LinkedIn Group.  This can even be done before you move.  Become active on the board and reach out to connect with individuals who you feel have similar interests.  Many companies post potential job leads or networking events on LinkedIn boards and it is always best to stay informed of opportunities to make valuable connections.

If you have a new job, get involved in your work place!  Going to social outings like happy hour or participating in the company softball team will help you get to know your coworkers better in a relaxed environment.  If your company is small or doesn’t have many team building events, suggest grabbing coffee or lunch with a couple of your coworkers.

Another great resource for networking is utilizing networking event websites such as Meetup.  Meetup.com has the largest network of local groups where you can find people with not only shared professional, but shared personal interests as well.  If you can’t find a group that fits what you are looking for, start one of your own!

The most important thing to remember when you are trying to make connections in a new place is to not be afraid to take risks and say “YES!”.  Going out and meeting people is the first big step to getting acclimated and calling that city your home.