3 Times It's OK to Move Cities Without a Job Offer
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3 Times It's OK to Move Cities Without a Job Offer

by Justine Figueroa
February 17, 2016

MOST OF US DREAM OF MAKING IT TO THE TOP OF OUR INDUSTRIES AND THAT USUALLY MEANS YOU'LL HEAD TO A BIG CITY ONE DAY. HOW DO YOU KNOW IF IT'S THE RIGHT TIME TO MAKE A MOVE?

Do you need to have a job lined up or would you be better off being in the city where you’re hoping to make it before you find a gig? Making this decision is tough and can feel extremely stressful. Here are a few things to consider before packing and moving out of your town.

FINANCIAL SECURITY IS KEY 

When you’re thinking about making your dreams come true and climbing the corporate ladder, it’s easy to get a little idealistic about some things. You need to be realistic and think about money first. Can you afford to live in this new city without a job for three to six months? You need to have a place to stay, a way to get around the city, and to be able to feed yourself. If you can’t do that without going broke, then you aren’t making a smart decision. 

YOU NEED TO TEST THE WATERS

Let’s say you do have enough money to survive a few months without a job. It’s time to make a realistic plan of action and stick to it. Write down what you hope to accomplish within each month of your unemployment in a new city. Would you like to go on a certain number of interviews, meet with a particular person at a company you admire for an informational interview or join a networking group and attend a few events to meet people in your desired industry? Write it all down and make sure you have the motivation and the resources to make it all happen.

Can you afford to live in this new city without a job for three to six months? You need to have a place to stay, a way to get around the city, and to be able to feed yourself. 

This is also a time to test out whether the cost of living (and the money you’d make in this city) is realistic for you. Is public transportation something you can actually handle in this new place? How about the weather? That might seem like a small thing, but when I moved from Orlando to Chicago, with a job lined up but without ever having been to the Windy City, dealing with snow, slush, and ice for a few months was an unexpected stressor for me.

ALWAYS HAVE A SAFETY NET 

At the end of the day, your safety, health, and well being are the most important factors when making a move. They’re also what’s at stake here so, as upsetting as it may be to think about, you need to have an exit strategy if things don’t work out and that need to be a part of your plan before you ever make the move. Can you move back home if things don’t work out? What is your timeline for turning back and starting over? Be honest with yourself and don’t be ashamed if that’s what ends up happening. You never know when an emergency might pop up, so you should always make sure you have enough money for a one-way ticket home. 

Moving to a new city is a difficult decision that you will continue to question even after you’ve moved. With most decisions you make in life, there’s no way of knowing if you made the “right” choice, but you can make sure that you’re making a safe, healthy and informed decision with these tips. 

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Have you ever moved without a job in mind? How did it work out?