Moving To NYC After Graduation
Pending graduation, many college students who are finishing studies at universities which happen to be in more rural areas and university towns are slowly coming to terms with the fact that staying in Virginia, Michigan or Pennsylvania is not going to offer them the types of first jobs and subsequent careers that they are aiming for. Certainly many people make good livings in rural areas, but often if you are aiming to be in business, you need to be in a larger metro area to start your career.
Therefore, as a graduating student, it is essential that you pick a few major metropolitan areas and start narrowing down the list.
Choosing your first job can be difficult enough, to say nothing of figuring out your long-term career goals. However, the decision of where to move can prove to be just as overwhelming. I was not born and raised here, but I have lived on the Upper East Side for some time now and I love New York City.
As both an admirer of the city and a long-time resident, it is rare that I wouldn’t recommend anyone come here for their first job. This holds especially true for graduates looking to get into finance and investing, or any of the myriad industries supporting the financial world; publishing or advertising, or the kinds of marketing and PR jobs that will see you landing named accounts in a few years; business intelligence, compliance, knowledge process outsourcing, risk analytics, or countless other tech services essential to numerous industries… The list of business sectors for which New York and its surrounding area is the number one choice goes on and on.
– Preparing To Move To New York City
I still vividly remember a car ride at age 20 or so, from New Jersey going into the Lincoln Tunnel with my Dad. As we began to catch a glimpse of the skyline, the buildings looked enormous and I wondered who actually worked at the top of those buildings.
I was overwhelmed, but wanted to conquer the world. You should have the same attitude.
After The Choice Is Made
Once you make the choice to move to the City, be committed; don’t waiver and second guess your decision. Owning a staffing agency and seeing the jobs in the other U.S. cities, I can tell you that you’re in the right place. With the economic ups and downs of the past decade, New York has remained the steady hiring force, across industries and across levels of experience required for new positions.
Surround Yourself With The Right People
It is not always great to live with the same people with whom you went to college, especially if one of their main reasons for moving to NYC is the nightlife. In the long-term, these individuals may not turn out to be the best influences. No matter how things work out in the long-term, in the short-term, your priorities are going to have to change from studying and hanging out together in the dorms to pounding the pavement to find a new position, and then applying all your energy to shining in that position once you have it.
Late night bar runs means that you are hanging around the wrong crowd. Make sure that you people with whom you spend time with are honest, hard working and organised.
Regardless of circumstance, always strive to be around people harder working and more driven than you are. Their positive energy will rub off on you. Combine that energy with the fast paced lifestyle that New Yorkers become accustomed to and you’re on your way.
Regarding your first apartment, don’t let a lease negotiation scare you. I’ve negotiated both commercial and residential.
Upon commencing your search, I suggest that you call about 7 brokers and upon being asked what you’re looking for say, “An honest broker who is not going to waste my time nor try my intelligence.”
Perform most of the other steps involved in your leasing venture to the best of your ability, be nice and respectful to the brokers and all the other parties and you should get close to market prices. Since you’re a new grad, it’s likely you’ll need a guarantor for your lease. Do some basic research into the current rental climate so you can be prepared with figures and sums of security deposits (which are usually higher with a guarantor), broker’s fees, etc. in order to avoid sticker shock.
However, don’t use your research to try to get in hard negotiations with anyone. Learning how to negotiate with experts is a of work money and a waste of your time and they, more likely than not, are professionals.
– What Is It Like To Interview and Work In New York City?
It’s just like anywhere else. Sit there, answer some questions, ask some questions and smile. In all seriousness, you’re going to win some and you’re going to lose some. People are people and we all have fears, wants, insecurities, etc.
There is no reason to be intimidated because the person interviewing you works for a company that has Fifth Avenue office space. If the buildings intimidate you, don’t get discouraged.
Heed my advice. You’ll get over the lavish lobbies and street hotdogs pretty quickly, will return to your own self, and will land a job. Simply stated, stay resilient.
– Is Everything As Expensive As They Say It Is?
Yes. At first, you will not be dining at the most lavish restaurants and will not have an apartment on Madison Avenue with four doormen. However, New York City is expensive. It’s triply expensive if you get lazy or go out drinking all the time, which can be labelled as irresponsible.
A blazing example of lazy is that instead of subways and cooking, I take cabs and eat delivered sushi every night. At least I’m the better of the two New York related vices.
– Is It Worth It?
If starting an organic heirloom bean farm in Oregon is your ambition, then no, it’s not worth it to move to New York to start your career. But if it’s banking, journalism, pharmaceutical science, creative writing, public speaking, event planning or any one of countless business where you want to make your mark on the professional world, then New York City is your place to be.