So you’re the new kid in class, or in your case, the new travel therapist in town and you know not a single soul. If you think back to when you were in school you’ll soon realize how simple it was to make friends. You’re all there for the same reason and relatively all around the same age, so finding commonalities and striking up conversations and the like was fairly easy. But now you’re out on your own and about to embark on a new career in travel therapy, meeting all kinds of different people, young and old, with all types of different interests besides your occupation. So what can you do to find yourself new friends you can relate to?
At work you may find it hard to approach others. The various schedules and taking care of patients can make it difficult to interact with your coworkers. Being the newest staff member it is important to make yourself accessible, and make an effort to show that you are a friendly and approachable person. Try and get yourself in some water-cooler talk and ask others about their weekends or plans they may have for the week. Any reason you can find to engage with your peers will prove to them that you’re willing to make the effort to be their friend.
When you’re outside of work and don’t have a network of friends, think of the entire city full of people as an opportunity at friendship. The easiest thing you can do to help meet others is be open and cordial. Smile as you come upon people passing by. Start a conversation in line at coffee shop or grocery store. The more you seem approachable the more apt others will be to want to connect with you.
You’re going to have to make an effort to make friends, you can’t just keep yourself bottled up. It’s highly unlikely that others will approach you if you put off a closed demeanor. Sure, things may seem awkward at first, but that’s natural. In the beginning, take every opportunity to engage with others. If there’s a group going out to lunch, go. Even if you brought your own lunch. If the gang is going out for some post-work drinks, go. You need to show you’re a team player if you want to be included in their reindeer games.
Outside of the workplace, the same rules apply. If you go to the same places all the time, you’ll eventually just run into the same people. Wherever your travel therapy job is located, you know is full of people so you should branch out. Take a joga class. Try going to different supermarkets. Try going to dinner, catch a flick or grab a drink by yourself. Bartenders are always a good place to start for conversation. If meeting new people makes you a little nervous, start out small and try and just start talking to the one person you see most often, like the coffee shop barista or perhaps a neighbor.
Next week, we’ll expand on the topic of making friends in new places, but until then try these few methods I’ve given you and see for yourself what being an approachable person can do for your social life. If you have any tips for others, please share them in our comments sections.