by Angela Lomanto
Have you taken a moment yet to visualize where you might want to be six months or a year after? Will you be back home, in your own place, a new city, or how about a different state? The day I told my mom I was considering moving out of Florida sometime after graduation, she looked at me with great concern. Have you thought this out? Do you have a job already? Do you have money saved for this move? Are you crazy? Really? But really, the reality of the job market might just force you or encourage you to move to a different city, or even another state. The moment is now to be informed so that you have time to look at your options and find out if you’re prepared to take that leap of responsibility.
Moving to a new city or state is not a decision anyone should make on a whim. One student who made that leap coming to Florida from another state knows only too well the challenges she faced. “Moving to a different state is hard because you need to set up everything from afar. If you travel to set up, it is costly. Not really knowing what a neighborhood is like before you move in is scary,” said the 20 year old student, who asked to remain anonymous.
College graduates should embrace the opportunity an out of state job can offer them. It is not easy, but is very possible if done with adequate preparation.
Knowing the Location
Know What You’re Getting Yourself into First
The first step before moving to a new location is to actually visit the city before moving. Do you prefer the beach or mountains? A big city or suburbs? In other words, know the climate and environment. Explore and check things out. Do research on the state’s economy, real estate and taxes. Make sure this is truly the place you want to live. Experience the new place as a resident rather than as a visitor. Take a look at different neighborhoods and options of where you would like to move. Make sure your desired location will match your needs and interests to avoid loneliness or boredom.
Finding the Job
Steps to Landing a Job Out of State
The most important step in moving to a new destination: Find a job before you move. Plan beforehand and give yourself plenty of time to find work. Define the type of job you want and the exact reasons why you want it. This means knowing your personal and career goals before searching for the job. Make sure your job will fulfill those goals. An important part in landing the job you want is your cover letter. Ensure the potential employer that you are ready and willing to relocate. There are many websites that can help you write a killer cover letter that stands out from the crowd. Reach out to companies by following them on LinkedIn. Lastly, don’t forget to follow up. Follow up whatever means is available whether by email, text, or a simple phone call. Make sure they remember you.
Hint: When deciding on an internship, consider one that might present a transfer to or a future employment with an employer in the state you have your eye on. As confirmed by the same student who moved to Florida, “My internship does dangle the possibility of telecommuting in the future. One of the team leaders was hired as an intern.” According to her, thanks to the internship, that team leader now works and lives in the state she herself would want to move to.
Where to Live
Finding the Right Apartment
Whether you’re looking to rent an apartment or buy a house, you need to do research before committing to a new home. The best place to search for a place to live is the internet. There are several websites you can use to simplify your search such as Apartmentguide.com, Craigslist, and hotpads.com. Websites such as NeighborhoodScout.com tell you if the neighborhood you’re looking at is a safe place to live.
Do not hesitate or be afraid to call. A “contact us” page may be available but sometimes e-mail messages are not always answered. Give them a call. The ultimate step once you have decided on a place is to physically see the space. It’s easy to be fooled by a scam. Do not sign any rental agreement or paperwork without visiting the place and meeting your landlord.
Costs of Moving
Know Your Budget
You need to know if you can afford to move to another state to begin. Figure out the moving expenses such as traveling money (car or airplane), renting a moving truck or shipping your possessions, hotel money, and food money. If your expenses outweigh your available funds or savings, it may not be time yet. Use your calculator—make sure a negative number does not appear.
Establishing a Support Network
Moving to a new city or state can be much easier if you already have a support system in place such as family or friends living there. Having family or friends around you will make the transition less difficult. They would be the best resource for the area. Making friends in a new city isn’t the easiest thing to do. Introduce yourself to people. Meet your neighbors. Carpool at work. Go out with your coworkers. Ask them their favorite places to go. Take classes at a local gym. Do something…anything to get yourself out there, and soon enough you will have a strong new network.