Of all the questions I get from would-be Londoners via e-mail and Facebook, the most common is how to meet new people once you make the leap to the UK capital. London can be an intimidating place, especially if you’re moving here alone. There are going to be lots of concerns swirling around your head as you contemplate moving to London, but let me assure you that meeting new people is not something you need to worry about.
London, as it turns out, is not nearly as unfriendly as it seems.
Before moving on, I’m going to tell you something about myself – I’m very shy by nature, and at times, almost cripplingly so. Given my personality, the prospect of meeting new people is terrifying, but London has helped me start to break out of my shell.
You see, these days there are so many different ways to get to know people that you don’t need to be a social butterfly to settle down in London.
Your office is going to be the best place to start meeting people when you move to London. I mean, you’re stuck in a room with these people for 40 hours a week and you all have at least one thing in common
If work isn’t cutting it, head to meetup.com. This is a place where people with common interests setup events and meetings throughout the city. That’s not really a great way to explain it, so I suggest you go check out the website. Weather you’re into photography, knitting, or just want to connect with other expats, there is a meetup for you.
If you’re studying abroad in London, you have your very own built-in network at your fingertips (lucky you!). For those of use old timers who are out of school, we can still take classes! They don’t need to be university-level courses, of course (I don’t think my brain could cope with that anymore), but why not take a language class? Or a yoga class? Go to Groupon or Living Social and find a discounted fitness course. Head on over and meet new people.
Use Your Existing Network
Now that we’re 10 years into Facebook and all that social media stuff, you’re bound to have a friend of a friend (of a friend) that lives in or around London. Reach out to your network. Get in touch.
Get a Roomie
Regardless of how much you’ll be earning, I suggest living in a flatshare when you first move to London (assuming you’re moving here alone). Head over to a speed flatmating event and buddy up with one or two people you click with, and get a flat! You never know, you could soon become the 21st-century London incarnation of Rachael and Monica from Friends.