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Moving to a big city: 7 tips to smooth the way

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 4:26pm | by Helen Hoart

Whether it’s New York, San Francisco, LA or Chicago, many young women are drawn to a big city as they pursue their careers or decide to advance their education. The opportunities in our nation’s largest cities are fabulous. To make your transition successful take the time to plan carefully.  If you’re contemplating a move, consider these seven tips.

Do your research. Many magazines do annual listings of the best cities to work in. And then match your job interests with the jobs in the city you’re targeting. Interested in publishing or media? Then New York may be your top choice. Are you a software engineer? Then San Francisco could be the ticket. Check out online stats on your target city.  

Figure out your budget. Look online to get an idea of the cost of living. It will be higher and your dollars won’t go as far. Remember that you will probably need additional cash to pay for moving costs and apartment security deposits. 

If you can, visit your target city before your move. If you’re lucky you may have friends living there already. Spend time with them. Get a feel for the lifestyle. If you don’t have friends check out the local universities. Sometimes when the classes are out, universities rent dorm rooms to visitors at a much lower rate than hotels.

Every time I go to a new city, I take a city bus tour. It’s a quick way to get the lay of the land and get a sense of neighborhoods where you’d like to live.

Your security is important too. Research crime statistics for the areas you’re contemplating move to.

And figure out transportation. Many people in large cities don’t have cars.  Mainly because parking is hard to find or can be very expensive, as well as insurance. Make sure you have access to bus or subway routes.

After finding a job, the next big hurdle in a large city is finding a place to live. For example, to find a New York City apartment, many people use a rental agency. Sometimes, word of mouth can net a rental too.  Or just wandering around in a neighborhood you like looking for “for rent” signs.

Life in a big city is filled with opportunities. Jobs, cultural events, sports, volunteer activities abound.  There’s something for everyone as long as you take the time to look. 

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