6 Tips for Starting a Job in a New City
A glamorous dream for many young professionals is leaving everything they’ve ever known to start anew in a different place. Whether that’s New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago or just moving from a village of 2,000 to a small city of 15,000. It’s exciting and overwhelming and oftentimes anxiety-provoking once you’re there.
When I enrolled in graduate school, I left dorm life behind and began a new adventure with my own apartment in a new city. Then, three years later, my husband and I uprooted our lives from our hometowns in rural New York to move to the capital city of South Carolina. We both had dreams of leaving NY behind and establishing our careers elsewhere and that’s exactly what we did!
Since you might be preparing for or considering a move to a bigger city to establish your career, I wanted to share six of my top tips for starting a job in a new city. These are applicable to most cities, but be sure to reach out to your supervisor before moving to see if they also have helpful suggestions!
Your first apartment/house isn’t your forever apartment/house - As you learn the ins and outs of the city, what districts and neighborhoods you like best, where the commute is the worst … etc., you’ll be able to gauge where you might want to put down some roots. If you’re searching for housing from afar, it’s hard to determine where things are in relation to each other. So just be sure to find a safe apartment community and then once you get moved in, you can look a little more intently for something that matches more of your needs.
Visit work before the first day - The worst thing is getting lost and being late on your first day of work in a new city. You’ll want to practice your route, see how heavy traffic will be and actually figure out where you need to park. If you work on the campus of a company, you’ll also want to see what building or doors you will need to go in so you can park closest to that. The more logistics you can figure out before the first day, the more at ease you will feel!
Take time to get settled - When my husband and I moved to South Carolina two years ago, we wanted to hit the ground running and visit my family in North Carolina, visit the beach, check out other areas near by and that just wasn’t going to happen. Let yourself immerse into the life and culture of your new city before you begin making plans for your weekends.
Say yes to coworker happy hours - Even though you might be tired or you want to unpack more of your place, take the time to visit and get to know your colleagues. They will introduce you to new places throughout the city and will help you feel more at home.
Read the local newspaper - Understanding your new city beyond pinterest and blog posts can be difficult at first. Reading the local newspaper, watching the news or subscribing to an e-news platform for your city can be especially helpful when getting to know what’s really happening. You’ll learn more about local politics, which often influence the companies around them, understand what the locals are experiencing and provide events and activity ideas for your social calendar!
Create a bucket list for your first year - Whether its professional aspirations or experiences you want to have in the first year, write them down and make an effort to make them happen once you’re settled.
Want to know more about integrating into a new city? Check out this previous post to learn about ways you can feel more at home in your new place!
All of these suggestions I have done to make my transition easier — or wish I had done from the beginning of my time in graduate school and here in South Carolina. Moving or planning to move to a new city can be really exciting, so I hope you relish in those feelings and set yourself up for a successful move.