A country where you are not familiar with the language and the culture it is quite challenging to communicate and build a network as an expat. Also, networking provides two valuable sources of information. First, it allows the expat to understand the business culture of the country, and second, it brings in opportunities that can lead to several future career options. So here are 8 networking tips to help you build connections.
1. Be accepting:
Most people like to talk about the differences they experience from their daily irritants while they are adjusting in a foreign country. So, listen to what people want to share and participate in the discussion. Also, sharing similar experiences brings people together. If you still find it challenging to interact with people, seek professional guidance. Staying alone in a new country will only worsen the situation.
2. Prioritize meeting people:
Friends are your chosen families that support you during the good and bad times without any expectations. If you are making too many reasons to avoid meeting new people, you know there is some issue you need to address. Treating yourself like this will degrade the experience of living in a new country, especially for people who work from home. So make sure to prioritize meeting new people.
3. Expect less:
While looking for friends, you should lower your expectations to adjust to new people. Initially, you want to give everyone a chance to become potential friends. The more potential friends you welcome, the higher will be the chance of meeting friends that remain for life. However, it does not mean lowering your standard. It simply means you should be open to accepting people regardless of age, gender, religion, etc.
4. Use social media:
Social media is a great platform to meet new people. Also, creating an attractive LinkedIn profile and keeping it updated can be useful for building your professional network. When you work in a specific market, you should aim to develop more contacts in the same market to tell people about your skills and experience. By doing this, you can attract many potential job opportunities through references.
5. Discover and work on your shortcomings:
Most people make excuses as to why they cannot meet new people or connect with the right people. This often happens because they compare the new potential friends with the old ones. So, discovering what holds you back can help you work on the problem better, ultimately increasing the possibility to meet new people.
6. Keep in touch:
You should always stay in touch with people you meet during your professional career or during your studies. You never know who could be helpful in the future. So, always keep people aware of what you are doing and where you are. Also, it is easier to maintain an old network group as compared to making a new one.
7. Join groups that encourage meeting new people:
There are several places like a social club, gym, hobby classes, etc. where you can meet new people. Joining such clubs or classes will encourage you to talk to new people and also connect with them. Also, there are various expat social groups that are specially designed for people from different nationalities. So, enroll yourself in such groups to improve your networking skills.
8. Don’t put pressure:
In the beginning, you shouldn’t worry much about attending official networking events; instead, you should meet new people as a chance to network. This way you can start building contact even if you don’t know what to do. Also, sharing experience can be a good conversation starter. Most people like to know about different cultures.
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About U Diverse’s founder:
Magali Toussaint is the founder of ‘U-Diverse’. She is a certified Talent Acquisition Strategist, an ICF-certified Leadership Consultant, a Career Coach, a Cross-Cultural Trainer, and a Job Search Strategist with an extensive career in Recruitment, HR, Diversity, as well as Education. She has lived and worked in over four countries and speaks French, English, and Dutch fluently. Read More...