The Young Professional’s Guide to Relocating & Making It Work
Considering accepting a job across the country? In need of a change in scenery? Guest author and fellow urbanista Kyshira Moffet gives several tips for moving to a new city, as practiced from her own experience relocating from her home base in Chicago to Pittsburgh to embark on her new career.
By Kyshira S. Moffett, MBA:
In August 2012, a few days before starting my final year of college at Hampton University, I received a call from a campus recruiter offering me my dream job. An associate role within a leadership development program, focused on HR. I was so excited! I was on cloud 9 and nothing could bring me down…until I remembered that job was located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Pittsburgh was not necessarily my dream destination, especially being from Chicago. However, Pittsburgh is where the company is headquartered so it seemed to be the right despite not having any friends or family in the area. I relocated in July 2013 and a little over a year later, I’m still here and quite pleased with the life I created. I wanted to share some tips of how I capitalized on this less than ideal relocation:
Visit Before You Move
This is key especially when moving to an unfamiliar environment. If you’re moving to a new city with no family/friends, more than likely having a roommate isn’t an option, which means you need affordable housing. However, rent.com has a bad habit of making mediocre look like luxury. Prior to moving to Pittsburgh, I took a day trip here with my mom to look at places. I used rent.com as a guide and scheduled viewing appointments in advance. When selecting your housing, be conscious of things such as public transit, utility services and proximity of the nearest Starbucks.
Get Involved Right Away
Once you’re all settled, look for a few organizations to get involved with. Start by searching for professional and nonprofit organizations of interest. More often than not, the city you’re in will have a chapter of that organization. However, don’t readily shed out cash for dues. “Date” the organization if you can. Attend events that are open to the public and have informational coffee meetings with board meetings. Ensure that the organization aligns with your values and interest before becoming a dues paying member. Once you’re a member, become active! Join a committee and ultimately get a leadership role. Use this as opportunity to contribute to your community, network and develop new skills. I currently hold board membership with the Pittsburgh chapters of, National Black MBA Association, Urban League Young Professionals, Ellevate, and the American Heart Association Young Professionals Board. These are great organizations to start with. If you’re in a Greek Letter Organization, find the local graduate/alumni chapter and get involved. University Alumni groups are great resources as well.
Go to Networking Events & Happy Hours, Even If You Don’t Know Anyone
Pittsburgh to my surprise has a lot of formal happy hours and networking events. When I first moved here, I attended a few of these events alone, despite the fact that I am an introvert and shy. However, my favorite quote is “feel the fear and do it anyway”, so I worked up the courage to attend. I ended up meeting great people and gaining a little bit of extra confidence too.
Use Social Media for All it Has to Offer
We are in a digital age where you can find whatever and whoever you want online. Use this to your benefit! Join LinkedIn Groups, Facebook Groups and Meet-Up’s to meet new people and/or find new hobbies. If you want, you can even start your own group! Take advantage of the power of social networks as you acclimate to your new city!
I can completely relate to Kyshira on being shy, but still pushing through those fears and attending networking events without knowing anyone there. It's definitely a confidence booster!
Kyshira provides a ton more information about building your personal brand and staying ahead of the game professionally on her wonderfully helpful website. She is a shining example of #blackexcellence -- my fellow boss ladies in the making should definitely keep her site bookmarked. Catch her on Twitter, too!
Website – www.2movesahead.net
Twitter - @2movesahead