For their 6-month apprenticeship, Praxis participants move to new cities across the country to start work with Praxis business partners.
Moving to a new city not only opens up more opportunities but it’s an incredibly valuable learning opportunity in itself. During the apprenticeship, many participants in the program are living on their own for the first time, learning how to create value at work, while also learning how to budget for rent, create a new social network, and cook healthy food.
Getting ready to move is an anxious time, but it is a part of the experience that many alumni look back on as one of the most valuable. After helping 200 participants start their careers in new cities, there are some common stressors and solutions that come up.
Finding a Place to Live
Finding an apartment or room to rent is one of the biggest points of stress when moving for the first time. Thinking that you need to have a place to live locked down in advance of setting foot in a new city contributes even more stress. The reality is you don’t need an apartment leased before you start work. You can book something for the first two weeks and use the weekend to go out and visit places in person, before deciding where you want to stay long-term.
Some great places to find initial short-term accommodation:
- Staying in a hostel for a week or two is a great way to get acquainted with a city and meet new people while saving money.
- Friends and Family
- If you’re on a tight budget, Couchsurfing can be a good option for a couple of day, but be careful, and make sure to find a host with a great track record.
To start the search for a long-term place, a simple google search will help you find lots of real estate listings in each city. In addition to the popular renting listings in each city, a few great resources that most people overlook are:
- Facebook Groups
- In every city, small or large, there are Facebook groups dedicated to helping accommodation seekers connect to open rooms and apartments. If you are looking for a room in a house with roommates, Facebook groups are likely the best way to find it. Like this group for housing in the Bay Area.
- Many Airbnb hosts have big discounts for long stays. Most people don’t realize that beyond long-term discounts, you can always negotiate prices on Airbnb. The host can extend a special price offer, so there is no harm in messaging a host making a pitch for a place that’s out of your price range.
- Using Your Network
- When you are looking for affordable places to rent, like apartments with roommates, it is often social connections that will help you the most. Don’t be afraid to post on your social media about looking for a place to live in X city. Even if you are from a small town on the other side of the country, you probably have connections with connections to almost every major city in the country. You never know if your friend’s aunt has an open room in Atlanta that she’s looking to rent.
- In Person Visits to Leasing Offices
- One of the best ways to find a place is to simply walk around a neighborhood you want to live in, identify the apartment buildings that look nice, and contact them directly. It is easy to forget that you don’t have to do everything online and simply going in person to apartments gives you the chance to see a place.
Focusing on Work
When you are moving for your first job, your job will be the biggest part of your life. You will be spending most of your time around your office and co-workers, so don’t stress too much about the specifics of the city. If you are working for a great company with great coworkers, that will matter much more in your day to day life than how the shopping, nature, or partying is in that city.
As you get started, focus on making a good impression at work. There is nothing that will burn goodwill quicker with a new employer than leaving at 5 pm on the dot each day to go to social events.
Don’t stress about if your life isn’t perfect at first in the new city. It shouldn’t be. You build the life you want with incremental improvements. Do good work and other aspects of social and personal life will come over time.
Create a New Network
When you live in your hometown all your life, you develop a group of friends based on circumstances. People who happened to go to the same school, or live on the same street, who you enjoy goofing around with, but don’t connect with on a deeper level.
Moving to a new city allows you to be intentional about creating new relationships with people who share your values and interests.
Some great ways to do that are:
- Join an activity: Crossfit, Pick-Up Basketball, Yoga, etc.
- Find opportunities to connect with your coworkers outside of work. Go for coffee on a Saturday or for a drink after work. Get to know them on a personal level will help you do your job better, but it also will open up doors to other connections.
One of the great things about Praxis is the growing network of participants, alumni, and advisors in major cities across the US. From Atlanta to D.C. to San Fransisco there are Praxian’s getting together to help each other achieve their goals.
Stress, but Don’t Stress Too Much
Moving to a new city for a new job is naturally going to be stressful. There are so many unknowns and so many areas that you will need to grow. It is a big leap out of your comfort zone, and that is why it is such a great learning opportunity.
So accept that it’s going to be stressful, it’s going to be anxious, but that’s why it’s a great experience.
For some more tips on starting your career in a new city, check out our five-for-five with five Praxis alumni on their experience of moving for the apprenticeship: