Is moving to the other side of the U.S. as hard as it seems?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 28, 2013 3:32 PM GMT
    Just wondering. I've had a savings account for a while now that I'm using to escape from Alabama! I will graduate college with a B.S. in Technology Management in about 1.5 years. I'll most likely have minimal to no debt thanks to financial assistance!

    Anyhow, I've been planning this for a while now, and my dream place is either Phoenix, Arizona or somewhere out in Colorado! The thought of packing my things up and moving across the U.S. excites me. A whole new life with tons of possibilities. However, I'm just confused on the whole idea of it I guess.

    Once I get my degree it seems like finding a job will be near impossible. I've looked, and every place wants 2+ years of experience in that field. It seems so hard to get your foot in the door. Will I have an apartment lined up for me? Can I just call and do that? It sounds awfully risky to just move away but it's what I want to do for personal happiness.

    So has anyone moved across the United States? Was it as hard as it seems?
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    Aug 28, 2013 3:38 PM GMT
    I would suggest that instead of considering a move, consider a visit and while you're there, check out places to live and jobs instead of tourist things. If things work out then you can readjust your thinking to a move, if they don't, vaca is over and home you go but with a better view and understanding of the area and ideas on what you must do to prepare for an eventual move.

    Sometimes remaining set and gaining work experience is the best option so you can land a job that you want. You're young, jobs will be available next year and the year after too. Be patient.
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11406

    Aug 28, 2013 3:40 PM GMT
    Phoenix is like entering the gates of Hell ... and it just gets worse the longer you stay .... just saying ... you can easily find a studio to start, but keep in mind this is where all the seedy characters start out too ... you'll be living on a shoe string and a prayer until you can get a job and get established and put a little time behind you, but it can be exciting, just make sure you have some place to run back to, just in case things don't work out.
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    Aug 28, 2013 3:45 PM GMT
    Yes and no.

    I moved to Miami from DC, with little help but it's been rough at times. In my case I had a college degree that I'm not really using now, but I'm in line to get promoted at my current job so I can't complain.

    I would recommend really researching the city you want to live in. No offense but Phoenix isn't exactly an oasis in the desert. Perhaps a visit would help you get a better feel of the place.

    Also, think of getting a roomate before you get your own place just so you won't have all financial burdens put on you.


    Good luck!
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4434

    Aug 28, 2013 4:04 PM GMT
    Any chance you could finish your degree in one of the cities You're targeting? Company recruiters from the local businesses probably hit the campus each Spring. I lived in Alabama for a while. I understand why you want to get out. Do it!
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    Aug 28, 2013 4:09 PM GMT
    Thanks for the advice guys!

    @eb925guy: That's a really good idea, thanks. I guess it'd be a lot smarter to check out places first instead of putting my eggs all in one basket.

    @Moonhawk: I've been to Vegas a couple of times and LOVE the heat and weather. I guess Phoenix is kinda like that, but after hearing what others have to say maybe I'll just stick to Colorado... haha!

    @Jmusc: Thanks dude! I actually have my best friend who will be moving with me, so that'll help tons!

    @Destin: Hmm... I didn't think of that. I think I could actually go ahead and make the move as I can finish my B.S. degree online at my university. I'll look into it!
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    Aug 28, 2013 4:09 PM GMT
    jmusmc85 saidYes and no.

    I moved to Miami from DC, with little help but it's been rough at times. In my case I had a college degree that I'm not really using now, but I'm in line to get promoted at my current job so I can't complain.

    I would recommend really researching the city you want to live in. No offense but Phoenix isn't exactly an oasis in the desert. Perhaps a visit would help you get a better feel of the place.

    Also, think of getting a roomate before you get your own place just so you won't have all financial burdens put on you.


    Good luck!



    Its easy if you are social and don't have expectations of living in suburban luxury. It you treat it as a travel adventure it's a huge learning experience. Travel first , interview for jobs while you are traveling.
  • 1blind_dog

    Posts: 376

    Aug 28, 2013 4:21 PM GMT
    Across, not quite. I moved from St. Louis to Colorado. Best move I could have made. I love it here. I started in Denver for a few months staying with relatives then got a job in Vail Valley two hours west of Denver. It's amazing. Keep in mind if you're thinking of Colorado you have to be able to enjoy the cold weather. Skiing or boarding is almost a requirement, otherwise people will wonder why you bothered to move here. On the other hand, there is a lot more to do outdoors in the summertime. You probably already know if you've done your research but you'd want to check out Fort Collins, Boulder, Denver (obviously), Colorado Springs, Vail Valley (Edwards, Avon, Vail), and Aspen.
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    Aug 28, 2013 4:42 PM GMT
    +1 on doing reconnaissance first. I moved across the country for grad school, blind, because I didn't think I had the time or money for a preliminary trip. So I did have a job, but no place to stay. I was burning through so much money, staying in a motel, that I jumped on one of the first rooms that I found - which ended up being a horrible living situation with unbearable roommates.

    The best move I can remember was when I took my motorcycle there about a month ahead of time. Cruised all over town and got the look and feel. Checked out every rental listing. Phoned the roommates to talk it over. That turned out pretty well.

    But these days - I dunno. I'd be working on finding a job first. Just yesterday, out of curiosity, I checked out job listings in my field. There were a bunch - but they're advertising for people with four-year technical degrees, two or three years experience, and offering $12 - $15 an hour. It's crazy.
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    Aug 28, 2013 4:50 PM GMT
    JumpMan_Josh saidSo has anyone moved across the United States? Was it as hard as it seems?


    My s.o. moved clear across the country for me. We'd met right here in '07-'08, and in '10 he moved from Connecticut to California (Silicon Valley). As a life-long CT and MA guy, it was interesting seeing how he adapted to such a move, and leaving all his friends & family behind. Well, his take on the whole thing is that he misses people and snow sometimes, but he loves living in California, and especially - all the career opportunities and various companies to choose from here in Silicon Valley. He's still excited about all there is to see and do here (he is always taking pictures everywhere we go - even on short hikes sometimes). He stays in touch with all the good people he left behind, and then through me - he's met a whole lot of new people - many of whom have become his friends. He's also met good people on his own where he works and through other things he has joined.

    I guess in answer to your question, you just have to follow your heart. And as others have said, go check out a few places and see how you like them, while doing your homework about companies you might want to work for. Check out recruiters, and see who's hiring. Good luck! You may have to work at finding just the right job, but you can have a blast living where you really want to live.
  • Import

    Posts: 7190

    Aug 28, 2013 5:15 PM GMT
    I've moved from south Florida to San Diego 2 years ago, so it goes without saying that it definitely IS possible.

    You can get an apartment online, sight unseen. I did. That was actually easy....I researched in the morning and had an apartment lined up by the evening. Also, most apartment complexes/buildings will do a credit check and criminal background check--- it is possible to be denied a place based on your bad credit or lack of credit. So keep that in mind...

    Also, dont sell urself short. All jobs want some experience, but how does one get experience if u have never worked anywhere? Don't worry about it--HR just forces companies and organizations to put that in their job requirements a lot of the time. The organization I work for hires college grads all the time and they have no experience. Don't expect an amazing paying job at first, but you can def get hired places...and im not talking menial jobs at Micky ds and burger king. But jobs at actual companies or organization that u can grow within.

    You have to just do it and committ to it. It's not going to just happen if u wish upon a star every night. You gotta make that shit happen. you have to save. You have to have some sort of a plan. You have to get up, go out and take what u want, literally. You have to make it happen if it's going to happen. Nothing is going to drop into ur lap.

    Basically what I'm saying is---if u wanna move out west--make it happen. Thats what I did. I wanted to move out of Florida so bad--I wanted out of that cultural vacuum filled with bafoons and uneducated idiots (jk Floridians--relax)... I just wanted a change so fucking bad--nothing was going to stop me. essentially, I obsessed on it and made it fucking happen. 2 years later and I dont have a single regret. Only thing u could regret is NOT doing it.





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    Aug 28, 2013 5:26 PM GMT
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 28, 2013 5:45 PM GMT
    Eb925guy had a good suggestion - to visit first to investigate a place you think you are moving. Definitely research cities before jumping off. Phoenix has lots of cheap living, but has a reputation as being a place where pay is very low - which is why a lot of companies have moved offices there. And although there is low humidity, it is unbearably hot (for most people) 7 months of the year.

    Yes, you can do it - and you're at the right age - you just need the will and a plan. I moved from Chicago to San Francisco with no job, and very little savings, although things were cheaper then.

    Import offers great advice on the part about getting work.

    Plan - and go for it.
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    Aug 28, 2013 6:01 PM GMT
    It is and it isn't. If you have a plan then it can be easier.

    When I moved from Boston to Atlanta it was easy for a few reasons.

    1.) I had a savings. The cost to move down here was $1376.76. that includes packing my stuff, getting it shipped down here, gas for the ride down, hotel stays, and food. (You get to write all that off if you are moving for a job on your taxes =) )

    2.) I visited before, since my parents lived down here, and I found a house with some roommates when I originally moved here.


    Just research and plan and try to save up some money and get a roommate! GOOD LUCK! icon_biggrin.gif
  • Ironman4U

    Posts: 738

    Aug 28, 2013 6:21 PM GMT
    Have done it; move from Virginia to California. I did come out to visit first to find a place ahead of time, but you could do it online, if you can't afford to come out for a scouting visit. If that is the case, I would highly recommend doing a short-term rental arrangement for a couple weeks or a month to acclimate and have time to check things out in person. If you're a single guy, it's easy to find rooms for rent that are relatively cheap for the short-term.

    Do your homework, but follow your heart. If you are excited, you will find a way to make a great adventure of it all. You won't regret it.
  • adultoreo

    Posts: 167

    Aug 28, 2013 7:12 PM GMT
    You have 1.5 years of school left? How about getting 1.5 years of experience meanwhile? Volunteer, get some internship, participate in school clubs, run for club positions. There are ways you can get that experience.the point is if you are willing to put in the effort.

    Don't let the charm of a place dictate your career. It only lives a short while. Rather, let your career dictates your destination.
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    Aug 28, 2013 7:16 PM GMT
    I agree with eb925guy; plan a visit first, and make sure you include weekdays so you can see what a "normal" day feels like there and not just Sunday Funday.

    Be ready to be the "new meat," you'll get some attention when you move to town (until the next newbie moves in!).

    Expect different attitudes and social rules; I've lived on both coasts and travel for a living and you may discover that the way things were where you were are not the way things are where you are now.

    Good luck. And if you pick Colorado I'll be your tour guide....
  • kuroshiro

    Posts: 786

    Aug 28, 2013 7:23 PM GMT
    I moved from Buffalo to Albuquerque (about an 1800 mile hike). I didn't have a job for two months, really... aside from a small part time stint at Best Buy before my full-time position kicked in. Granted I vacationed here early on in the year last year and had a place to stay for a couple months, but research the cost of living and determine if it's feasible.
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    Aug 28, 2013 7:38 PM GMT
    Also, come up with a backup plan in case things don't turn out like you originally planned. If possible, save as much money as you can that will allow you to survive for a few months without a job, plus money to move back if it ever gets to that point.
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    Aug 28, 2013 7:56 PM GMT
    oooh and even though you've planned out your cost of living, have some slush for something you might not have even thought of. When I moved to California, I had to buy earthquake insurance. Not something we think about in Colorado....
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    Aug 28, 2013 8:46 PM GMT
    eb925guy saidI would suggest that instead of considering a move, consider a visit and while you're there, check out places to live and jobs instead of tourist things. If things work out then you can readjust your thinking to a move, if they don't, vaca is over and home you go but with a better view and understanding of the area and ideas on what you must do to prepare for an eventual move.

    Sometimes remaining set and gaining work experience is the best option so you can land a job that you want. You're young, jobs will be available next year and the year after too. Be patient.


    Agree 100%!

    Josh, I'm taking a travel assignment with my job and my first contract assignment will be in Phoenix. Even though my stay will be temporary, I'll be able to see the city from a resident's point of view instead of a tourist's. That way, I can get a sample on what it's like living there.

    As for job searching, you are correct that many companies are looking for experience but it's definitely not impossible. You have to keep on searching and take the opportunity when it becomes available. One of the RJ members I've been chatting with just graduated from nursing school and had a hard time finding a job because not many institutions are looking for new grads but he didn't give up and got an offer last week. So chin up buddy! You'll find your career! icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 28, 2013 9:28 PM GMT
    Dude, you have 1.5 years left?

    Sounds like you could intern during a summer in a new place and scope out whether you want to live there or not. I did that and so far so good.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 28, 2013 10:06 PM GMT
    I have done it twice..from Southern California to New Jersey (big mistake) and then thank goodness back to Northern California.

    Even frugal packing and moving be prepared to spend. I drove both time(s) with my SUV packed at the time, used AAA for best price of hotels,etc. What I did initially is only brought the essential(s) and put my major things in storage, so if I needed I could go back which I did. I placed everything in storage in S. Calif. and like I said minimal stuff which I could survive in New Jersey.

    Later I found out NJ was not for me total mismatch in culture, outlook in life, just was not the cup of tea for me. In the job front (I was a consultant), two weeks in there I was doing a great job and they wanted me to go full-time, but I could not stayed there for about 6 more months until I found a job back in California and then told them.

    My advise save for the expense of moving and packing, research the area as well. Also, negotiate with HR - I have tons of experience dealing with them PM if you want..in a nutshell HR is NOT for your benefit but the companies benefit - the key is to have the bigger poker face and squeeze, squeeze them. Even when I got a job initially from Florida to S. California - I rejected the offer twice (although they would include relocation), and they came back with more money, more perks, etc. The key is being cool and collect without them knowing it and selling your skills above the rest and why you are the best candidate, even if you do not have a lot of experience.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 28, 2013 10:22 PM GMT
    Get two years of experience, then move.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 28, 2013 10:26 PM GMT
    It's a lot easier if You get a plane ticket and hire a moving van.

    Otherwise carrying everything You own while walking cross country will seem burdensome once you get around Ohio...