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liberalpragmatist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:17 PM
Original message
Should I move to New York?
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 08:21 PM by liberalpragmatist
I'll try to keep it brief: I'm a recent college grad (May 2008) and I live and work in a medium-sized midwestern city, but though my current job pays well (given low cost of living), I don't really enjoy it that much and feel a little professionally stifled. The work environment is very disorganized, I don't feel like I'm being given enough responsibilities (lots of time doing nothing, etc.). Socially, most of my friends moved elsewhere after graduating college, so I don't know that many people.

So I'm looking at other jobs. The question I'm asking: should I move to New York? It's actually really just an academic question at this point. I have no plans to make an immediate move and even if I do move, I doubt it would be to New York.

Still, I like New York, have spent time there and though I have no idea as to whether I'd like to settle in the New York area long-term, I've always thought it would be fun to live in New York for maybe just a couple of years. As one of my parents' friends puts it: you only get to be young and in New York once. Besides - most of my friends and relatives have told me that, though I've been stuck in the Midwest most of my life, I'm "an East Coast"-type, whatever that means.

That being said, cost of living is outrageous. I also have no idea if I could find a job in New York (I basically was a liberal arts major, so I like to joke I have no practical skills and I have no experience in the business world - my current job is in research - I'm a research assistant in an epidemiology lab). Plus, I don't actually know that many people in New York. Most of my friends are currently in Boston, DC or Chicago, with the rest scattered throughout the Midwest and a few on the West Coast or in graduate schools or medical schools at various places.

Anyway, for those who fear I'm one of those over-earnest "I'm gonna make in the big city"-types, relax. I'm not planning any immediate move - this is more just a thought experiment.

Any thoughts or advice from others? Should I move to New York?

My main questions: is moving to New York even a viable option? How on earth do recent college grads find jobs in New York that aren't banking or finance* (those are pretty much the only people I knew who got jobs in NY - and of course, that area's not looking too hot right now) - and how do they afford to live there with salaries under $35K (which is realistically, all I imagine I could get - probably something between $25-$30K)?

* ON EDIT: let me be clear: I know there are jobs in areas other than banking and finance in New York. My question is - how on earth do people afford it? I make $30K right now, and I pay $500/month in rent and utilities. I don't understand financially how you can afford $1500-$2000 in rent with that kind of income, given that tax takes away about 15% of it and the rest needs to be spent on groceries, etc.
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Arugula Latte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:43 PM
Response to Original message
1. "You only get to be young and in New York once." Exactly.
I don't think you'd regret it. Even if you just stayed for a year, you'd always remember your adventure.
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liberalpragmatist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:49 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Any advice on jobs, cost-of-living, etc?
Like I said, my main concerns are just that finding a job will be difficult, and that the cost of living is just so high. I mean, seriously, how do people do it?

Yeah, I could pour all my income into rent and cost-of-living expenses: but then I'd have no money to actually enjoy living in NY. Any tips?
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ikojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:46 PM
Response to Original message
2. If you can manage it and make a decent income
then I say GO GO GO...I'd LOVE to live in NYC but I don't make anywhere near an income decent enough to live in NYC without a lot of roommates.
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liberalpragmatist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Like I said - the income issue is very big
I've always wanted to live in NY - at least for a few years. But I figure it might be better to wait until I have a Masters and can get a higher-paying job. Right now, with just a Bachelors and work experience limited to government and academic research - I'm not too optimistic I'd be able to find anything.
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BarenakedLady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:50 PM
Response to Original message
4. City
New York is more than just the city.

Ok...that aside.

Do it.
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liberalpragmatist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Technically, aren't both the city and the state just called "New York"
So maybe I'm not totally wrong? :)
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BarenakedLady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:01 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Don't mind me.
I'm just being a PITA, in Western NY. :P
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Book Lover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 12:27 AM
Response to Reply #6
17. No
Natives make the distinction. Just sayin'
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blaze Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:45 PM
Response to Original message
8. Do it!!!
It's been over 25 yrs since I lived in the City...

You'll never regret it.

Get a room mate or two or three. Or maybe somebody needs a Nanny!?

There's no place like NYC!!!
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:08 PM
Response to Original message
9. Yes, you should move to NYC - every smart, creative, intelligent person should try it
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 10:09 PM by Rabrrrrrr
It's the most amazing place in the country! I lived there for 12 wonderful, amazing, stupendous brilliant years, and I would love to move back some day.

As to jobs - there are all sorts of job markets, job postings, job places, all over the place in the city.

Decide what you'd like to do, and then go from there.

Or go through a temp agency - lots of companies take on full-time temps (as well as the part-time, one or two days here and there types). One firm I worked for, I started as a temp, and became an employee about a year later. I worked a lot of people at that firm who had been temps at that company for years.

So that's an option.

And if you would like to do business, your liberal arts degree can be an advantage - consulting firms hire lots of liberal arts people. And probably most of the brokers working in investment banks are liberal arts (or other non-business degree) people: the investment banks generally don't want business people as brokers; they train their brokers themselves.

There's also retail and restaurant - lots of swanky stores that pay incredibly well, and a great many topnotch restaurants at which waiters can earn hundreds of dollars, and more, a night.

The beauty of NYC is - if you are creative, you can live there. If you are not, prepare to be screwed.
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Midlodemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:09 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. I wholeheartedly agree. I think everyone should live there once.
I currently have two brothers who live there. It's not for me at this stage of my life, but it is an amazing place.
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liberalpragmatist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 11:01 PM
Response to Reply #9
15. I'd definitely like to
My goal is to live in NYC for at least a few years in my 20s. As I'm currently 22 (soon 23), I realize that the clock is ticking on that particular desire.

Like I said, the main issue for me is financial. I really don't know that I can afford it, so I'm inclined to stay in my current job at least until the fall, when our current project will be wrapping up.

That said, I've been told I'm a NY (or at least East Coast) type. I'm dorky and neurotic and I love living in bustling places - big cities or even small-to-medium college towns.

Living in suburban St. Louis isn't quite the same (not ratting on the Lou, but it's not really a place I see myself staying long-term).
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Haole Girl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:10 PM
Response to Original message
11. Move to NYC if you want, but have a job first. (nt)
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MajorChode Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:18 PM
Response to Original message
12. If you are at a dead end, it's time to turn around.
That being said, I'm not so sure it's such a great idea to throw all caution to the wind. You might want to try and find something stable there first before you make the big move even if it is in your current field. It's always seems easier to find another job if you're already employed.

You may not want to limit yourself to just NYC either. If I had to choose between living in the NYC, Boston, or DC areas, NYC would come in 3rd.
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Tuesday Afternoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:43 PM
Response to Original message
13. Get a Roommate. Just do it. n/t
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harmonicon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:53 PM
Response to Original message
14. follow the job
If you find a job in New York that excites you, go there. If you've got the money, and you're happy being destitute for a few months or years, regardless of job, go there. Otherwise, keep your job. Personally, I don't really like New York, but others do.... one of my best friends got a job there right after college, and he was a history major, but times and the economy were different them. He moved back there later to take a job at Columbia University, but now he's moving to Florida for a job. I live in some strange English town now, because of what I do - I certainly wouldn't have planned on moving here otherwise, but it was what was right for me at the time.

Is any of this advice? Probably not. Should you move to New York for the sake of it? No. If you're young and bored with your life, should you try something else? Yes.
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Tangerine LaBamba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 11:27 PM
Response to Original message
16. Find a job,
find some roommates, and go live in NY if that's what you want to do.

You may have a great time.

You may hate it.

But, at your age, you are supposed to try it all, make the mistakes, and go on. That's how you learn, and when you get to be my age, you'll be very, very content and pleased with yourself knowing that you didn't miss one opportunity to have an adventure, make a fool of yourself, or sometimes accomplish both at once.

Go.

Go everywhere.
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crispini Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 12:34 AM
Response to Original message
18. Do that crazy shit NOW, while you're young.
Spent four years overseas when I got out of college and never regretted it. You'll love NYC. I have no doubt you can figure out a way. You seemvery practical. Just don't be TOO practical and talk yourself out of it.
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 12:38 AM
Response to Original message
19. If you decide to move here, network with DUers.
There are a bunch of us here. :)

There are a ton of agencies to help you find a job. Finding an apartment is not such a big deal if you're willing to share. It's finding the right people to live with that's the challenge.

The cost of living is high but manageable. Have some money saved up when you first move here so you can handle the lag until you start earning.

You can do it. You'd probably love living here. It's like no place else. :)
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Lex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 12:47 AM
Response to Original message
20. Yes, you should do it. You can always move back home later after your big
adventure, if you don't like it. You'll always have that experience. Hey, it might look good on your resume later too.

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barb162 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 01:49 AM
Response to Original message
21.  If you can't figure how to make enough with the rents, don't do it
Or check NJ and other places around NYC.
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JeffR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 01:58 AM
Response to Original message
22. Yes.
If you can afford it, yes. Hell, yes.

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Genevieve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 02:06 AM
Response to Original message
23. The cost of living is crazy high here, but salaries are higher here too. .nt
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crimsonblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 02:34 AM
Response to Original message
24. NO
In this economy, stick with the stable, well paying job.
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DFW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 05:41 AM
Response to Original message
25. My daughter did exactly that (she is 25) and won't live anywhere else
She lives with a roommate in a shabby tiny apartment on E. 30th street. She finally got a job that pays $40,000 a year
with a company that's doing so poorly, it may not survive the year. Rent for her hole in the wall is about $2000, which
she pays every other month.

She has made a zillion friends, many of whom work in (or own!) restaurants, gets lots of freebies, and with very little
money left over for fun, refuses to live anywhere else--she has even turned down a job in San Francisco!

Keep in mind that she is German, and the access to JFK and Air Berlin (cheap flights nonstop to Dsseldorf, where we
are based) is very important to her, whereas you can fly to the Midwest from anywhere in North America with less hassle.
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Bunny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 08:49 AM
Response to Original message
26. I have no specific advice about NYC. But I'll echo others on this thread and say
that if you're going to do it, do it now. Make the most of your youth and freedom. Do it before you become "burdened" with a spouse, a mortgage, and possibly kids. Once you take on those responsibilities, the option to pick up and move to the big city will be significantly reduced.
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Turbineguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 08:56 AM
Response to Original message
27. If DU had 19 million members
This would be New York.

Go, enjoy yourself.

New York (to me) is an experience based life style. Therfore you don't need a lot of stuff.
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