Moving for a New Job (and other major life transitions)

Hey, Waypoint fam. After 4 years of working contract positions I’m heading towards another life crossroad. My current position ends in April and I’m starting to search for new jobs. People always tell me to apply for positions nationally and move if I have to.

Here’s the thing though. I love where I live! I have a lot of great friends here. I worked hard to get to know people and the city’s vibrant scene of artists and activists of color. I have a good life outside of work and I feel like I’m part of a community here. That’s not nothing, you know? Having to start all over sounds so rough. On the other hand, employment is unfortunately crucial.

  • Have you ever moved for a new job/other opportunity? Did it work out?

  • How did you adjust to your new home?

  • Tell me about other major life transitions you’ve been through (I wanna relate)

Right now I’m really weighing the costs and benefits of moving versus staying. Also, if anyone wants to give me the scoop on what it’s like to live in the Los Angeles area that would be great.

5 Likes

I’m approaching a similar crossroads right now, as I’ve just applied for PhD programs all over the country and am awaiting responses. Assuming I get accepted, I’ll be moving away from the place where I’ve lived my entire life.The scariest part about this for me is less that I’ll be leaving friends or the familiar behind, and more that I have a lot of family in the area who I’m really close to. (Although, don’t get me wrong, I’m going to miss my friends and this place, too.) I’m both excited and terrified, but I’m currently leaning more towards excited because I live in a city that has…let’s say, generously, “diversity issues,” and all of the places I’ve applied are more metropolitan and diverse (which is especially thrilling since I know my child will be raised in that environment). So yeah. It’s a really weird place to be in. I’m not sure that helps, but at least it’s solidarity?

4 Likes

Extremely relatable post and I wish you all the best @Soiyer (and good luck with the applications and subsequent programs @mundanesoul) .

I am basically coming off of three years in a place that I moved to exclusively for an opportunity–granted, I now live in a city premised on the hopes of work but this last move feels like more of a choice.

So, I had lived in New York for five-six years and had wonderful friends, community, and a job I genuinely loved–albeit had plateaued at and was feeling very frustrated by–and gave all of that up to go to law school in a remote area. It was… in short, a very rough, long three years. Things worked out in that I am sitting here writing about it now, but, yeah, for the most part I found myself in a program full of people I didn’t entirely relate to (I mean, maybe I should have known there wouldn’t be a ton of armchair anarchists / leftists in law school) in a small college town with nothing to do but go to a multiplex or like three very bad bars. I was fortunate in that I made the move with my partner (now wife) so we had each other but a lot of our adjusting involved us working hard to move beyond our typical comfort zones and like really find out how we both cope in a crappy sort of situation. This meant trying things like hiking and exercise classes just to meet people or, you know, being willing to drive like an hour or so to try a coffeeshop or restaurant with the understanding it was probably going to be bad but the adventure would be fun–or what you make of it. I will say that moving to a new place with like zero social activities in contrast to being surrounded by stuff in New York did help me kind of embrace or be at peace with FOMO and accept that sometimes it is nice to just stay at home and read a book or be quite instead of trying to hit a party and a show because it is what all your friends are doing and you don’t want to miss out. Also this gave me the opportunity to take up bread making and yoga things that I really rely on these days for my mental health (and sandwiches).

I dunno, what I am trying to say is it can be rough and draining to be in a new place because you took what felt like a good opportunity but now you are left wondering if isolating yourself can really be worth it… BUT I think if you are willing to push yourself, I found that I learned some good things about myself, picked up some decent hobbies, and in some ways made myself a better person.

3 Likes

Okay, deep breath, here we go.

So, I was blessed to walk out of college with a well-paying job with a corporation that wasn’t going to disintegrate overnight (this was in the wake of the recession). The catch? I started a week after graduation. 250 miles away from my hometown. Somewhere I’d literally never been and had never visited, because I got the job after my spring break.

It’s hard to put the feeling of watching your entire life get packed up in the space of a minivan and driven off to someplace you’ve never been before and don’t know anyone to be left to your own devices. Once you get beyond the sheer pants-soiling terror, it feels like you’re being mocked by your own insignificance.

Honestly, as an Introvert with a Capital I, I owe everything to the one friend I didn’t realize lived down here. I found the local Magic store and he was at the counter. He introduced me to a lot of people I now number among my friends. I spent the next few years hanging out with them and playing Magic and board games and it was one of the best parts of the last 6.5 years of my life that didn’t involve the paycheck. Then literally everyone moved away (including the card shop!) and I’m still a little lost.

So, yeah. Get a hobby. Maybe not Magic because it’s mad expensive. But find a vector through which you can relate to some other people and you might be surprised by the kinds of friends you can make.

3 Likes

I haven’t done what you are describing. I have forgone career opportunities because I’d value friends, family, community and lifestyle above any job. At 35 my career could be better but I have no regrets. Fuck capitalism, live where you want!

Saying that though I have the privilege of living in Australia with public health care and many opportunities to earn a livable wage.

Are there zero job opportunities if you stay where you are? No possibility of working in different industry?

3 Likes

Oh man, I’m really relating with different parts of all of y’alls posts.

So, back after I graduated college, I moved literally like a week later to go live with my long distance, now ex, girlfriend, who was attending grad school in another state. The place I moved from was my home for essentially my entire life, so I was moving away from both family and close friends. It was a little scary, but also exciting, as I was starting a new chapter in my life and was looking forward to the newfound independence. I had already begun looking at jobs in the area before I moved, and luckily was able to land something shortly after I moved. Fast forward a couple years, and I still have my job so that’s good, but me and former partner very recently separated. I’ll soon be going through the process of moving again (though I’m thinking a shorting distance this time around), as our apartment lease is coming to an end in a couple months, but this time I’ll be moving alone.

As a very introverted person, some of the things that helped me during/after my first move were:

  1. keeping in contact with friends (and family): some friends from my old town and I occasionally play D&D over skype, I talk to my parents pretty regularly, and I try to play games online with my brother every so often.

  2. getting a hobby, social or otherwise: It’s comforting, but also you never know where it could lead. Playing DDR is one of my hobbies, and after hitting up a local Dave and Busters on a whim to check out their DDR Ace cabinet, it actually led me to meeting some pretty cool people there. I wouldn’t consider them like best friends or anything, but I enjoy getting to play with them pretty regularly.

  3. Don’t be afraid to just venture out and do local things alone. I know this is harder for some people, but you may end up enjoying yourself. I’ve went to the movie theater a couple times by myself now and actually find it kinda fun; I checked out my first comedy show not too long ago; and now I’m going to try to attend more local events.

  4. Like Alveric said, I think it’s also perfectly fine to just stay home and take it easy at times too!

In reading how you described your situation, I firmly believe in your ability to become part of a welcoming community if you do decide to go, but I wish you best of luck all the same. Hope this thread helps some!

3 Likes

Shout out to knowing your values and sticking to them!

I live in a major city where the market for what I do (library/archives) is extremely competitive because there’s a library school in the area. There’s a huge influx of new library school grads every year and a lot of employers have opted to hire for term positions (1-2 year contracts) instead of permanent staff.

I could stay where I currently live and continue to jump from contract to contract position. It’s just annoying to go through the whole song and dance of job apps and interviews every other year. A stable, permanent position would be great. But yeah, I applied to a new contract position where I currently am and have been looking at related industries. Maybe it’s time to branch out?

I really appreciate everyone’s responses so far. I’ve been feeling anxious about all this and hearing about your experiences and sugguestions has been a comfort. <3

3 Likes

Thanks for posting this! My wife is applying for grad school and we’re probably moving to Boston next Fall, so this thread has quelled some of my anxiety about it as well.

I grew up in Ohio and went to college in Ohio, stuck with almost all of my best friends from high school who also stayed in the same general area. Made some great friends at college who were also from similar parts of the state. I graduated in 2018 and then moved outside of the country.

It’s pretty different from your situation, because all of my friends were/are currently looking for opportunities outside of Ohio as well and would eventually also move away, but something that I truly underestimated was how useful the internet can be for keeping in touch. It was a bit rough while I was moving in & adjusting but after a couple months we fell into a good routine! Even with a 12+ hour time difference I regularly play games & video chat with my closest friends for hours a week and frequently chat over Facebook messenger. It’s not the same as going out for dinner or hanging at someone’s apartment all night but I feel a lot more connected than I thought I would.

In terms of general settling-in I recommend just walking/biking around the area you move to. Use one of your first weekends to explore, look at restaurants/shops you’re interested in on Google maps before moving, take a walk in any parks you can get to. Find things that will get you excited about where you’ll be living! If you move in without any ideas of where you want to check it out it can feel overwhelming/intimidating to go out. I moved to a pretty small town but still had a list of easy day-trips and nice looking restaurants to check out which gave me a lot to experience in my first few months. I’ve been able to make some great friends in my general area as well, but with work/everyone’s commute it’s a lot harder than when I was back in Ohio.

I’m very happy about where I am. Sometimes I do really miss my network of friends back home and being able to easily visit them any day of the week, but I don’t think I’d feel nearly as satisfied about other parts of my life. Plus all of my friends are childless and searching for new job opportunities, so there’s no guarantee I’d even have that community for long. I’ve always told my friends they should make big moves while we’re youngish so I’ll say the same thing here! Unless you’re so happy where you are you can’t imagine anything better; in that case, fuck capitalism stay home.

2 Likes