Seven months ago I moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. As someone who has lived on the east coast my entire life, it was a huge transition. Challenges included a brand new city, finding a new job, and getting used to a new lifestyle. Looking back, I was anxious, nervous, and also a little hopeful. I was stressed out and at the same time excited for what opportunities might be ahead.
I came out alone, (fiancé and dog to follow in 2 months) to pursue a role in international higher education. I was staying in AirBnB’s, which proved to be really interesting to meet people and expand my typical introverted comfort zone in a huge way. Those were going great, the job not so much. I was out after 6 weeks. It wasn’t an easy breakup from the role I moved to LA for, but I quickly knew in my gut that it was the wrong fit. After conversations with a few people whom I really respect, my mentors, I felt more strongly that I needed to find a new role. It’s not in my nature to make brash decisions, but without a new job in sight, I gave notice.
How did I find my next job? I casually networked. By casual, I didn’t feel up to going to formal networking events yet, but I had coffees and dinners with friends of friends. Fun stuff that I felt comfortable doing. For example, I love Japanese literature and cultural events, so I signed up for a class at the Japan Foundation and started going to events. I also took yoga classes and it felt good to be physically healthy. Now with my fiancé and dog with me, I felt less anxious and stressed, but there was still a need to get a job. Luckily, my network in NYC had connected me to a few great people in LA. A new friend and her friend and I went out for pizza and my friend’s friend happened to work at UCLA. The timing was right and a role in career development had just opened up at the medical school where she worked. She graciously sent me the job description; I applied, interviewed, and was in!
I understand how lucky I am, and I think a few takeaways from my experience are:
• Trust your instincts, they are always looking out for us. More on his here.
• Mentorship: I define mentorship as a symbiotic relationship of trust and good will. A mentor can be very helpful when they have an understanding of your personality and what you’re seeking in a role. They don’t necessarily need to have gone through what your experiencing, but it helps if they have more life experience to guide you.
• Network: Connect with people you know from various areas of your life. This includes former classmates, teachers, coworkers from past jobs, people you met at conferences, and of course family and friends. I found LinkedIn to be extremely helpful on this front.
• Timing: The average job search takes 3-6 months, although this can vary widely. Job seekers who make an effort to do something every single day greatly increase the timing of when they secure a role they may actually enjoy. By something, I mean reaching out to 3 new connections on LinkedIn, attending 1 event where you meet new people and introduce yourself…even writing down your current state of mind about your job search can be extremely helpful.
The adventure continues…
Has anyone else transitioned to a new city & a new role? Would love to hear about your experiences.