Here’s a surprise, I vote YES! If you don’t have major obligations holding you in a certain place, and if you have an opportunity that feels too good to turn down, then you should take this time for yourself and do this thing that may turn out to be awesome! Even if it ends up being a raging fail, you’ll never need to wonder “what if” you took that chance.
Relocating is something I’ve done twice, and which changed my life, made me stronger, and put me on a career path with real options and potential. THAT SAID – READ THIS PART AND LISTEN CLOSELY WITH YOUR EYES … I’m not advocating that you just quit your job and move to your dream city without a job or apartment hoping to pull everything together on your arrival because you are hungry and driven. It doesn’t work that way. Even if you’re pursuing a “dream” career, you still need to lay the foundation and groundwork. I am, however, advocating that if you are not happy where you are, and you have the option of relocating, that you do it – it can really pull good things out of you!
I moved to New Jersey (and told everyone back home that I moved to New York, and it totally counts because Hoboken) for a guy, but I didn’t just buy a ticket and hop the next flight. Before I moved I spent 3 months (and two plane fares to come out and interview) and finally got a job working retail for a great company. With some help from my mom and her extended network, I lined up an apartment. And just like that I moved to a town I had never been to, with a roommate I had never met, in a region where I had exactly zero friends and zero family members … for a retail job. I had a boyfriend who was living over an hour away from the place I’d moved … to be with him. Not exactly the glamorous start I had pictured.
The reason I was OK with all of the above terrifying things was because I had enough money to cover 3 months of expenses, and I had researched my company. I was getting a decent salary, great commissions, and full benefits. I had looked into other people who worked for them and they seemed happy. To get to this point, I submitted at least 100 applications and resumes, and actually flew out to New York City twice to interview and reconnoiter. The process may have started on a romantic whim, but it came to fruition after careful planning and strategic decisions. It took me a complete fiscal quarter to put it together, so it wasn’t like I just woke up one day and thought “I’m going to move to New York,” and it just happened. After that last interview, I had to fly back to San Diego and co-ordinate a cross country move, and find a place to live, and a roommate, and all within about 12 days of finally getting the job offer.
I’m very lucky that I have amazing supportive parents, and that I had about $5,000 to use to get started – thanks to everyone who sent a check for my Bat Mitzvah – I know that not everyone is nearly that lucky. So it doesn’t have to be New York, it just has to be somewhere new where you can challenge yourself to fight for your independence and live on your own terms.