Building a network from count 0

Skrevet af Femi og Michael

Moving to a new place can be a bit scary because you might not have any friends – here is how we did it in Prague.

I just sent invites to our house warming party. It’s now almost 5 months since we moved here – so about time. I sent to invite to about 35 people that we consider friends. When we moved to Prague we didn’t know anyone, so it’s been an interesting exercise in building a network from the ground up.

Virtual networks
I didn’t use Facebook before I moved to Prague, but otherwise that would be a good place to ask your network if they know anyone who knows anyone. Same goes for LinkedIn. I’ve also joined Meetup and CouchSurfers Prague but I’ve been to busy to go to any of those events.

By coincidence someone in Slovakia found my blog and that let to the first local friend we made in Prague. Later I also used blogbot and Overskrift to find other Danish bloggers in Prague.

Student Organizations
I had been a volunteer in Erasmus Student Network (ESN) in Aalborg while in university and when I went to US for a trainee-ship I went with IAESTE. These are both international student run organizations that has local chapters at a lot of universities across the world. One of the first things I tried to do when I knew I was going to Prague was to get on the two organizations mailling lists in Prague. It wasn’t easy and it took some work to find the right people to ask but eventually I got on both lists. ESN was inactive during the summer so it was through IAESTE we got the most contacts. A lot of the people we met were trainees that has left the city again but a few has continued in real jobs. With the trainees we did a lot of trips inside of Czech.

Professional Networks
We went to a tech conference in Ostrava in the east of Czech Republic. Here we met a couple of people having companies like our own designing and building software.

Expat circles
There is a lot of foreigners – or expatriates – living in Prague. And for many of them the situation is the same as ours, they don’t know many people when they moved here. So naturally expats are more willing to make new friends than local people who have old friends and family they are spending time with. At the same time it is my experience that expats are very outgoing so there is always a party or an event to go to.
Once you have met one expat you are bound to meet more. Someone will organize a dinner or party and then you talk to a couple of new faces and suddenly you have three new friends that invite you to other events. It really becomes a network of friends of friends (of friends). When you ask another expat ‘so how do you know Judy?’ it is usually a chain of friends’ friends that has led to the connection.

Sports/interest clubs
We have joined two different football teams one of them just a play-for-fun team and a another that plays in the Czech football league system.

Unfortunately most of our circle of friends are non-Czechs but all in all there hasn’t been a quite weekend since we moved to Prague and we keep meeting new people.

Also read the blog post by Kelvin from the Philippines about How To Network Without Really Trying.

[tags] networking, networks, travelling, building network, prague, expats [/tags]

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Opdateret d. 24. oktober 2007 i kategorien: Bloggerhverdag,In English . Andre indlæg af

2 kommentarer Skriv kommentar

  • 1. Abelone Glahn  |  29. oktober 2007 kl. 09:38

    Det er virkelig sjovt at se, hvilke ingredienser der er i en sådan netværksopbygning, meget gode links også.
    Det bliver spændende at finde ud af, hvordan I kommer til at netværke med tjekker.
    mon ikke et par fysiske møder skulle medføre forbindelser til de 2indfødte” 🙂

  • 2. Kelvin  |  5. december 2007 kl. 13:28

    Hi Michael!

    Just saw that your link to my article. Thanks very much. Its interesting to hear about how you created your own network in a new country. I had to do much the same thing when i lived in Beijing for a few years. Anyway, thanks very much and take care! If you want to swap stories, just email me. You can reach me through my blog Take care!

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