March 14, 2010

When you move to a new city, each person matters

My friend is moving across the country in the next week to pursue a job opportunity. She knows only a person or two in the new town. When you pick up roots and move to a new place, each person you know there becomes an anchor.

To me, this is the scariest part of moving. Not knowing anybody. Not having anyone there to give that critical insight:

  • "That neighborhood is really fun"
  • "You can get around without a car"
  • "You need a car to get to the suburbs from there"
  • "There's a cheap Thai place near there that is really good"
  • "I know the principal at that elementary school; she is wonderful"

Here are two ways to help people who are new to town:

  1. Take a newbie to lunch and pick up the check. Give a couple recommendations, do your best to help, and try to connect the person to someone else in your network.
  2. When one of your friends moves away, alert your network. Ask them to be nice to your friend. This is what all those LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Plaxo accounts are for, right? Call in a favor. Make a connection. Good friends will help "friends of friends." That's what makes them good.