Have you ever read a job description that perfectly matched your skill set or received an offer from a company that you were very interested in … and then realized the offer was at an office location across the country? For a few moments, moving to a city you have never been to before can seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually an amazing opportunity if you’re prepared.
And according to a report from The United States Census Bureau, you are not alone. Millennials accounted for over 40% of all movers between 2007 and 2012, despite making up less than a quarter of the U.S. population.
As young professionals with no mortgages, spouses, or children, there really is nothing holding us back from accepting an offer in a new city and being open to trying something new as long as we can financially support ourselves.
More often than not, new experiences can guide you down paths and onto new opportunities beyond your original scope. In my case, some of my favorite memories and friendships were formed in cities which I had never previously lived before. New York City. Washington, D.C. Salt Lake City. I’m always on the move. This summer, I will be moving for the third time to a city that is not my hometown for a work-related opportunity… and so should you!
Here are a few tips – the 5 F’s of job relocation – to consider when deciding to move for a work-related opportunity.
Does your company provide a relocation stipend? How much are apartments? What is the general cost of living? Does your salary give you room to actually enjoy your new city? Before accepting an out-of-town offer, you should definitely make a comprehensive budget. There are a number of financial and logistical considerations to take in mind before moving to a new city and creating a checklist and budget can help you sort out your thoughts. In my case, I was only able to look for certain types of jobs when working in New York City where the cost of living is much higher in comparison to having more flexibility in job function when working in my hometown of Houston, TX. Maybe you need to save all of your salary or maybe you need to budget for unforeseen circumstances. Whatever your narrative is, it is very important to have a general sense if job relocation is a good fit for your bank account.
2. Finding sublets & housing
In my experience, finding housing can go one of two ways: a) you already have a corporate contact or personal connection who has secured housing for you or b) you have absolutely no idea where to begin looking. If you’re like me and typically fall into the “b” category, you should consider looking into Facebook sublet groups and college dorms (during the summer) that offer short-term housing. My last two sublets were secured through responding to Facebook listings, but I have also had friends who found success in listings from Rentler and Roomster. Sometimes, even family members and friends can be underutilized resources, so start early and try a combination of social media and personal outreach until something sticks.
The ability to find friends and feel a general sense of community in a new city is a legitimate consideration when deciding to relocate. I’m a pretty social person, but am the first to admit that I’ve been googling the diversity statistics and even questioned my ability to find a community in Salt Lake City since receiving my offer. It’s only natural to want to build connections with people who look like you and be able to find services that cater to your background (hair salons, barber shops, churches, etc.) If social life and community building are important to you, as it is in my case, actually consider putting effort into it. Attend company affinity network events, seek out young professional social mixers (quick plug for Jopwell #SummerUnlocked events), reach out to college alumni at your firm, use social media resources – be a friend. More often than not there are other students and young professionals in your same situation looking to make connections with people just like you.
In line with finding your community and making new friends, you should approach social life and fun activity options as an open slate. While working in New York City the past two summers, I had gone to more boroughs, events, and performances than my friends who had lived in NYC their whole lives. Any social event that peaked my interest was open game – and I had the best summers of my life. Every place comes with unique social experiences particular to their city, from the brunch day parties in Washington, D.C. to the live music scene in Austin, TX. Keep an open mind and check out social scenes that you maybe have never experienced before.
No one is requiring you to relocate to a new city and stay there forever. It’s your life, your future. This is our time to try something new. If you don’t like a certain city, just know that there are hundreds more waiting to be explored.