Want to Move to a New State? 5 Helpful Tips on How to Get You Moving!
As a 22 year old college graduate who was ready for some major life changes, I had packed my car and drove off to the wild, wild west (nearly 2,000 miles away from the hometown I was born and raised in and where my family still resides). It seemed like a fabulously spontaneous idea at the time, even with minimal preparations. Now, 5 years later, I have devised some helpful hints for anyone out there facing a similar situation. Here are the top 5 things I encourage anyone to consider before taking that impulsive step to relocate after college:
I think one of the most important questions you should ask yourself before venturing out to a new place is, "Can I afford to make this move?" If the answer is "yes," continue making preparations. If you answer "no," then it's probably best to temporarily put your plans on hold until you are able to finance your move.
You will need to figure out all of your moving expenses, including things like gas money, money to eat, possible hotel money, renting a moving truck, etc. All of this is just to get you started and moved from one place to another. There is so much more to take into consideration to determine if this move is affordable, most important being income and cost of living.
Once you move to a new place, you will need a job to earn income and support yourself. If you've graduated college, you probably have a pretty solid idea about the type of career you want. It's a good idea to research those career opportunities in your new potential location. Make sure there is some sort of demand for your profession so you will have a better chance of scoring your dream job.
It's a very common notion to relocate due to your career, especially in today's economy when people are moving to where the jobs are. As for myself, I earned my degree in elementary education. Having grown up in the same area my whole life (and attended college in my hometown), I was very aware that there was a low demand in my job field throughout the entire state. The job market was very competitive in my home state, so it made sense to me to move to a state that had a higher demand for my career.
Ideally, you may want to secure a job before you move. If not, I would advise you to at least begin your job search prior to moving. Start looking for prospective jobs early, get your resume out there, and utilize your resources. If you're able to, travel for your interviews before actually moving. However, with the technology available, you no longer have to sit face-to-face for the interview process. Employers can be flexible for out-of-state applicants and will usually be satisfied communicating with you via email, telephone, and even webcams.
Get to know your desired location before you move there. I grew up in the Midwest with humid summers and frigid winters, so personally, I was ready to move anywhere with a more desirable climate! My first instincts were Florida or the Carolinas. I had my mind almost made up; then I realized that Florida might be too muggy for my taste, it can still get cold and snowy in the Carolinas, and both places have a hurricane season. Back to the drawing board! After more research on things like weather, cost of living, population, etc. I finally settled on Arizona. For those who are a little more adventurous and social, definitely consider "places to go/things to do," as well. Make sure the place you want to move will have things there that will meet your interests and keep you entertained to avoid feeling bored or lonely in a new place.
You're going to need to make living arrangements ahead of time. Here are a few short-term options to consider if you haven't found the right place yet:
· Hotel/Weekly rental - This of course is a temporary solution while you may still be looking for a permanent home. It will serve its purpose but will probably become very expensive.
· Stay with a friend or relative - Again, this is most likely temporary unless it's agreed that you're going to be roommates. If you know someone gracious enough to take you in while you're finding your own home, be careful not to overstay your welcome.
· Become a roommate - There are various resources available to search for people in need of roommates. This can be a great way to meet some people in a new place; just be cautious about your selection.
It's best to do as much research ahead of time to determine where you will live once you move. Whether it's an apartment, condo, or house you're looking for, use as many various resources you can and do a thorough search before making a final selection. I thought I had found a number of amazing places online, but after researching things like area crime rates, neighborhood details, city street/highway guides, etc. I realized that it would take a lot more than a nice looking advertisement to sell a home! On the other hand, it may be beneficial to consider a 3-6 month lease somewhere until you secure your job and become more familiar with your new area.
5. Contacts and Connections
It's a very bold move to venture out on your own and move to a new place where you don't know anyone else. For some this may not be an issue at all, but for others, it may become very lonely. Part of my decision to move to Arizona was based on the fact that I had relatives here that were willing to help support me. They helped scope out potential areas for me beforehand, introduced me to some contacts, and even opened their home to me to help get me started. This made for an easier transition for me. I had friends who knew people out here, as well. They helped connect us, and I was able to make quite a few acquaintances and new friends this way. I also discovered that my college had a club for local alumni that scheduled regular gatherings. There are plenty of ways to make contacts and connections in a new place, so don't be shy!
I encourage anyone considering relocating after college to determine the exact reasons why you want to move and what you hope to accomplish by moving. If you take these tips into strong consideration before impulsively deciding to "just go," I believe you have a better chance of successfully attaining whatever it is you desire by moving to a new place. Best of luck to everyone hoping to make a fresh start in a different location!