Advice in moving to a new town


Recently, a young man posted a query on LinkedIn, seeking advice on relocating for a job — his first job out of college/university.

This part of his query called to me for two reasons. First, because as a traveler I am always walking into new locations and situations. Also because I’d also relocated with less than 24 hour notice, in order to take my own first job in broadcasting.

He wrote:
“…But now I’m faced with moving to a city that I know NOTHING about! I’m aware that’s part of the deal but it’s still intimidating nonetheless.

What’s your best advice on being the new journalist in town? And when I say new, I don’t mean the rookie, I mean where do you start in a city that you don’t know anyone and you have no connection to?”

Several people had already replied with very good journalist-specific advice,  (kudos to LinkedIn!) so I tried to add more general advice. Because my advice may help my fellow travelers (or anyone), I am posting it here as well.

I replied:

There are too many comments to read on an iPhone so I will just jump in with my thoughts.

HOW EXCITING!

I did the same, many years ago, for my first real broadcasting job. I was not a reporter needing to get inside so if to are then you have great advice here to follow.

What I did and recommend for housing in a large or spread out town/city was find a room in a house of university students. It was summer so one roommate had gone home. That gave me 2-3 months to live in his room and get to know the city and job. It’s a bummer to be stuck with a contract to live in a location that isn’t good for your commute or social life or to know the areas you need/want to know. I live in LA where I see people do this all the time and have a commute from hell.

To meet people look into groups that share your interests. For example, I moved to Southern California I was miserable until I found the Los Angeles Macintosh Group (now defunct) and there I met amazing like-minded people that remain my friends all these years. Whether it is religious or craft/hobby or work or bicycling, you will connect best when you have a commonality.

Smile! On walks, in stores – smile. It makes you approachable and invites friendships.

Don’t be afraid to say hello. Just a smile and nod go a long way and you never know what doors they will open.

I have moved several times in my life and nowadays pretty much travel full time, meaning I live on the road in place after place. I live the advice I give so I know it works.

Those first days and even months will be amazing! Everything so new! As you think this daily, as you let yourself realize what you have accomplished – you will want to smile. Do! And maybe say to the person waiting at that walk sign with you, “I still can’t believe I landed a journalism job here and I love this town.” The world and your adult life is yours to enjoy!!!!

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