Moving to NYC for work? Here's what you need to consider

10 janv. 2024


Moving to NYC for work? Here's what you need to consider

The city so nice, they named it twice. A glamorous gathering of beautiful people with chic jobs and tumultuous love lives. The place where a freelance writer can afford a brownstone in Chelsea and spend the rest of her disposable income on a designer wardrobe and brunch. At least, that’s the image that’s enticed generations of workers to pack their bags and move to NYC, but what is the reality of living and working in The Big Apple? The truth has to lie somewhere between Sex and the City and Taxi Driver. New York isn’t for everybody, but there’s no denying that, as a global city, it is a professional hub for every industry with a rich job market for those brave enough to forge a career there. So, if you’re considering moving to NYC for a job, what should you consider before making the leap?_

Surviving the subway

While no one would be surprised at having to use public transportation when coming to NYC, it can be a big lifestyle change. Most American cities are centered around cars, and 91% of American households have at least one, as opposed to 45% in NYC in general and only 22% of those in Manhattan. If you are determined to keep your car, be prepared to pay a hefty fee if your apartment and work don’t offer free parking. The average cost of parking is nearly $600 a month, along with the other recurring costs of car ownership, such as gas, loan payments and insurance. Knowing this, the $132 price tag of a monthly MetroCard doesn’t seem so outrageous.

Aside from the shocking cost of transportation, New York commutes can also be hard to adjust to. New Yorkers are shackled by the longest average commute in the country at 80 minutes a day. For workers coming from a place where work was a 15-minute, air-conditioned car ride away, spending over an hour a day shoulder to shoulder with some of those other 3.6 million daily commuters can be quite a jarring change in daily routine.

Adjusting your lifestyle

It’s no secret that NYC is expensive, but just how expensive it really is should be taken into consideration by those thinking of moving there. While it’s true that the average salary is higher than most places in the US at about $100,000 per year, this is only 14% higher than the national average. This might seem reasonable until you discover that the average cost of living in the city is 128% higher than the national average, and housing expenses are 385% higher. On top of that, New York is one of the states with the highest income tax. Ouch. So, unless you’re going to be raking in the big bucks at your new job (as in double the median income necessary to afford the median rent for a one-bedroom), you will probably have to downgrade your lifestyle in terms of housing, probably by a lot. However, if you need to forget your financial woes for a night, you can always head to your neighborhood bar for a cocktail that will only run you about $20 plus tip!

Protecting your mental health

They say if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere. Whether or not that is true, there’s no doubt that NYC poses unique challenges for its inhabitants. No one would disagree that your work life has an enormous influence on your mental health. There are things you can do to keep your job and your mental health separate, but at the end of the day, they both have a significant impact on each other. When considering moving for a job, there is one rarely discussed phenomenon that warrants concern: relocation depression.

Although it doesn’t affect everyone, relocation depression is a well-documented side effect of moving to a new environment. Moving home is one of the biggest changes a person can make, and many different factors can affect your mental health at this time, such as the stress of finding housing or the feeling of isolation that can come from finding yourself in a place where you don’t know anyone. The symptoms of relocation depression are similar to chronic depression, so it’s important to monitor your mental health and take steps to avoid this happening to you. Luckily, there are ways to prevent or combat it. So, how can you safeguard your mental health when moving?

  • Stay connected to your old home: Reach out to friends and family from your old home and maintain your existing relationships to avoid feeling alone. Text, Facetime or even plan a trip for friends to visit you in NYC.
  • Meet new people: It’s just as important to meet new people when moving to the city. Starting from scratch can feel intimidating, but there are plenty of ways to meet people. Make friends in the office, scope out neighborhood spots or sign up for an activity to find people with shared interests.
  • Get to know your new home: It can be hard to put yourself out there at first, but be sure to take advantage of all the city has to offer. Enjoy the museums, restaurants and nightlife to find your new favorite spots to spend time in until they become your haunts. (Your future friends are probably already there!)

Take advantage of new opportunities

Although NYC has many challenges that are important to consider before making the decision to move there, most people who live there would tell you it’s all worth it for everything the city has to offer. New York is a global city, and there are thousands of reasons why living there can help your career. No matter what industry you work in, NYC is likely the beating heart of it. From publishing and fashion to finance and tech, the city is home to some of the biggest companies in the world, with millions of jobs for people in every sector, at every stage of their career.

Aside from the increased job opportunities compared to smaller cities, you will also enter a new (and enormous) pool of professional peers. While the competition may be more intense, there’s no arguing that NYC is one of the best places to be for career-oriented workers looking to expand their network, gain more experience, and build their dream careers. If you think you’re ready to juggle the different obstacles that come with living in New York, don’t let fear hold you back! Just be sure to think through all your options, protect your health and your finances, and you’ll be well on your way to a new life in NYC!

Photo: Unsplash

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