A corporate lodging company can be instrumental with relocation services for those moving to a new city for work, but in today’s world, a real challenge for some is how to make friends after a corporate move in the age of COVID. With all the logistics required for a relocation, how to find new friends seldom makes the list, but it can be a crucial part of assimilating to a new environment and finding joy in it. Living in the middle of a pandemic does not mean navigating your days without friends, but it may require a touch of adventure and creativity.
How to Make Friends After a Corporate Move in the Age of COVID
You have just made the move out of state and across the country to sign on for the job of your dreams, but once you have arrived and settled in, you find that life only seems to exist between the hours of nine and five, when you have the built-in community of work colleagues. It is only natural to be eager to make friends in the area, but the COVID-19 pandemic is not exactly conducive to meeting new people.
When it comes to making friends after a corporate move in the age of COVID, there are still options, although they can look a little different than the traditional efforts of even just a few years ago. Here are 7 ways make friends in your new city despite the presence of coronavirus:
- Embrace the challenge – The sooner you acknowledge that making friends in a new city in the middle of a pandemic will be a bit of a challenge, the more equipped you will be to persevere and succeed. Finding new friends will look and feel different, but the effort you put in will be well worth it.
- Look up old friends – Ironically, this tip is one of the most overlooked. Think back to high school and college and try to remember if you have any old friends or acquaintances in the area that you could catch up with. Even if you weren’t super close, chances are after months of quarantine and social distancing, this individual would welcome a chance to meet and take a walk down memory lane.
- Meet your neighbors – The old saying, “Bloom where you’re planted,” is more than appropriate here. Whether your new home is a condo, townhome, apartment, or house, odds are that you have neighbors. If you run into someone as you check the mail or take out the trash, take a minute to introduce yourself and explain that you are new to the area. Even if a friendship does not take shape, a neighbor may be connected to the community and could recommend some local activities and groups for connecting with others.
- Attend a religious service – Despite not being able to meet in religious gathering places for a time during the pandemic, it is estimated that these circumstances resulted in nearly a third of American adults experiencing an increase in their faith. As places and houses of worship begin opening back up, individuals are looking to get involved in spiritual activities again. Consider attending a religious service to meet new people in your area. An added bonus of attending a service can be finding out about and attending activities and gatherings the group schedules on a regular basis.
- Get outdoors – It can just be more fun to be socially distanced when enjoying the great outdoors. Whether it is taking a walk in the park, rollerblading around the city block, birdwatching on the hiking trails, or just sitting on a park bench and breathing in the fresh air, more people than ever are going outdoors to get away from the confines of their homes and meet new people. If you don’t like working out, consider bringing your lunch and a good book to the park and strike up a conversation with a fellow nature lover or reader.
- Volunteer – Especially during the pandemic, many volunteer based organizations are becoming extremely shorthanded. Find a cause you wholeheartedly believe in and consider volunteering. In addition to experiencing those endorphins from simply helping others, this can be a great way to meet people who may also have the same heart for a cause as you do. If you are not sure where to start, consider a local soup kitchen, library, homeless shelter, or house of worship. The sky is the limit.
- Join a club or organization that shares one of your interests – One of the most popular clubs to experience a rise during the pandemic is book clubs. Whether you join a virtual club or one that meets in person, these meetings can be a great way to meet new people and make new friends. If reading is not your thing, joining a different type of organization that shares one of your interests such as a workout, music, or hobby group can be an excellent idea.
Incorporate the Old with the New
In the rush to quickly assimilate in a new area, the focus can rightly be on making new friends locally, but it is worth mentioning that even old and existing friends can still have value in this scenario. You may not be able to sit at your friend’s dining room table for a monthly dinner party, but it does not mean you can’t schedule a virtual dinner party with them.
Make a point of still connecting with dear friends via video chats, phone calls, and email. Being in a new place does not void your friendship. Old friends may also be a resource of information for people or organizations they know in your new area that might be of interest.
When it comes to how to make friends after a corporate move in the age of COVID, it may not be nearly as difficult as you originally thought. Be bold and dive in because the potential to make a new friends is all around you.