Hello SOTGC community,
Climbing the corporate ladder is a fun journey, one the modern-day woman often scales and conquers given her well thought-out career road map (often fueled by coffee and passion). Whether your approach has been to study other successful women in business ‑ and the steps they took to advance to the top – or your career move prep has entailed spending hours on end researching Salary.com, seeking mentors, and refining your skills post performance review year after year, when that final moment you’ve been mentally preparing for arrives, there’s often one thing that pleasantly catches us off guard on the receiving end of that life-changing phone call.
“Congrats, you got the job. We need you in ________ city in two weeks tops.”
New titles, new responsibilities, and new salaries take a laser-focused commitment to achieve, so it’s common that the one aspect of the career move that may take a back seat is the research and prep required for new horizons, especially when we physically move to different cities (or countries) to relocate for our jobs. Since relocation is often steadfast and occurs within the blink of an eye, the pressure can mount as we fret last minute about which piece of furniture to trash or treasure, how to find time to say goodbye to friends and family, or how to even start making personal and business-related connections in our future home-to-be.
Luckily for you (and me and anyone else who may move across the country or the world this year), I know the creator of LABoundGuide.com, Erica Wernick (who moved from Philadelphia to L.A.), and she is here to help us all plan+prep for our next big career move with these supportive tips.
- Remember, it’s just a city. Erica says, “It’s really easy to freak out at the thought of being relocated to brand new, unknown territory. Yes, the logistics of actually moving all of your belongings are a huge pain in the high heel that no one wants to revisit again and again, but it’s still important to remind yourself that IT’S JUST A CITY! If it’s not for you, you can move back home. A city won’t eat you alive and swallow you whole. It doesn’t have to be life-altering.
But, then, it can be life-altering, which brings me to #2.”
- It’s your HOME. Erica shares, “As an intelligent career woman, you may have noticed that your environment can play a huge role in your overall happiness. It’s so important to really pay attention to your surroundings and how they make you feel. No matter how fantastic the job is, if the city makes you feel icky, then it’s just not worth it. This is why my number one rule to my readers is to VISIT the city before you make the move (if possible). REALLY IMPORTANT: try to experience the city as a local, and not a tourist. Can you imagine yourself living there? Do you see it being a good fit? Can you imagine yourself going grocery shopping and stopping by the bank? Most of all, can you see yourself being happy there?”
- Housing can be a nightmare, but prepare and make it a dream.
If your job isn’t making all of the arrangements for your new apartment or home, there are some things you should know about finding a place on your own: It’s really difficult to land an awesome pad when you’re not actually in the city. Sure, you can book a room in one of those huge, corporate complexes and probably be fine. But, Erica adds, “other than that, it’s always better to book it in person. Safety is a sensitive issue for many women. Your judgement of “safe” may be different than another woman’s version of “safe,” so it’s something that you have to feel out in person. Is this apartment safe? Do transients camp out front?”
Another note from Erica: “If it looks too good to be true online, it probably is. Many times you’ll see a swanky place with granite countertops and “wood” floors, and the price is ridiculously low! And you’ll think, “Hell yes! I Found a goldmine!” But actually it’s in a really sketchy part of town. There is a reason it’s priced so low. Last important tip: Landlords will rarely take deposits from out-of-towners. You’re less trustworthy when you’re not in person, and your payment will take much longer than a tenant who can give the landlord a check NOW.”
- Wait, but friends?
Erica’s wise words: “If you’re moving to a place where you don’t know anyone, you will have to make somewhat of an effort, outside of work, to make friends. Sometimes it takes awhile to find those ladies you really click with, and sometimes your friends are the first people you meet. Just try pushing out of your comfort zone a little. Make some effort to go to events, join a club, take a spin class, or a cooking class. It can feel lonely in a new place when you don’t know anyone, so putting yourself out there will speed up the process.”
Whether you are moving to London, Minneapolis, or the City of Angels, Erica’s tips will help you prepare for any situation. Most importantly, stop and celebrate. The dreams you started with as a little girl, the ones that fueled those long hours in the library in college and working extra to complete the work project on the weekend, they’ve paid off! And YOU deserve to acknowledge that … before you get busy with your well-earned, new position.
Moving to Los Angeles? Check out Erica’s site www.laboundguide.com.