Back in elementary school it was so easy to make new friends: “Hey, we’re on the same playground — let’s hang out!” But by adulthood, it’s often much trickier to meet and make friends, especially in new environments.
But don’t fret, it’s easy to meet new people as a Travel Nurse! Here are a few helpful tips for finding new friends while you’re on assignment:
Look for Like-minded Folks
Outside of obvious connections like your new colleagues and neighbors, one of the best ways to find new friends is through a class, organization, event, or group. The fact that you both showed up for the all-state pug pageant, for example, is already one bond you share! So, be a joiner when it comes to things you’re interested in and you’re sure to meet some new folks within your wheelhouse with whom it’ll be easy to connect with.
The internet makes it easier than ever to join organizations and groups or find events of interest to you where you are likely to be able to meet new people. There are even Travel Nurse-specific groups such as Healthcare Travelbook and The Gypsy Nurse’s Travel Nurse Network which you can use as a sounding board. Post a roll call for your current location and try to meet up with some other Travelers in the area.
But Don’t Count Anyone Out
You may end up finding new friends in the strangest of places — in line to buy a sandwich, hailing a cab, out for a jog — who knows!? Just don’t be so set on one type of person or friend that you end up overlooking some really great folks.
Strike Up a Conversation
Once you’ve found interesting new folks, just approach them and have a chat. You can riff off of the meeting place or circumstances, or choose an unrelated topic to open with. A well-placed, genuine compliment is always a great ice-breaker too.
Be Authentic and Confident
Don’t let the prospect of speaking with new people unnerve you and pressure you to act like someone you’re not. You have nothing to worry about! Be confident and be yourself, and the right friends are sure to be drawn to you and appreciate your personality for all of its wonderful charisma and quirks.
Be a Good Listener
Look people in the eye, listen, and respond with non-verbal cues like well-timed nods. Ask questions, listen to the answers, and use what you’ve learned to show your interest.
Make New Friends — But Keep the Old
If meeting new people is going slower than you thought it would, reach out to your good, old friends. There’s nothing like a Skype sesh with your bestie to rejuvenate you, restore confidence, and help you remember that anyone would be lucky to be your pal!
I hope this will help you get some ideas going for how to meet new people as a Travel Nurse! What are some things that have worked for you when it comes to making new friends in a new city? Share your ideas in the comments.