Recently you wrote about bullishly preparing for maternity leave. Do you have advice for bullishly preparing for a cross-country move to a new city? I’m hoping to move in a few months, spurred by the desire to find more ambitious people and shed the feeling of stagnation I have from staying in my home city. Work is squared away, but is there anything else you’d suggest to set myself up for success?
Yes! Remember in elementary school, when a new kid in school was pretty exciting – and usually instantly popular for about two days, after which the kid’s position in the hierarchy was figured out, and usually the kid ended up less popular?
Moving to a new city makes you a little like that, except that no one’s paying any attention to you at all unless you ANNOUNCE YOUR PRESENCE.
So do some hardcore online research and make a list of at least 30 people you should meet (yes, 30!) Email them or hit them up on LinkedIn and tell them you’re moving to New City in a few months and you don’t yet know anyone in blah blah industry, or any women in blah blah industry, or you’d love to get involved in the investment community and you read a glowing profile about them….
Make a bunch of lunch/coffee dates way in advance! Also ask these people if there’s anyone ELSE they know that you should know. And then email THOSE people. It’s like a pyramid scheme, except not a scam!
There’s a real time limit on this behavior. Once you’ve been in town a couple months, you no longer have an excuse to break some social rules (asking for in-person meetings with strangers) without seeming presumptuous. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it’s worth it to be presumptuous, but it’s much less awkward if you can do the, “I’m new to Chicago!” thing.
Also of interest: Career Mobility, Decisions and Interior Design, How Do You Improve Your Life When Friends and Family Tell You To “Be Realistic”? and Three Tips For Pitching Your Dream Gig And Why You Need To Pitch