How to Tell if You’re Ready to Move to a New City

Signs that it's time to take the plunge

Uprooting yourself from friends and family is always a tough decision, but it can result in growth and career opportunities that would never be possible if you stayed in your hometown. Read on to find out if you're bold enough to make a big move.

Reilly Starr, director of public relations for, said, “Following college, I moved to NYC for my first job. Twelve years later, I had a lively portfolio of friends, resume bullets and favorite restaurants, but I suddenly realized I could be doing the same thing for the next 12 years of my life there.”

She knew a change was necessary, and she fell in love with the South Bay area of Los Angeles when she went on vacation. “It was everything that NYC wasn't: flip flops, ocean views and a slower, but more adventurous way of life. Just to make sure I wasn't honeymooning, I visited one more time and sure enough, had the same feeling. I requested a transfer with my employer and moved three months later.”

Starr said, “I found that so many friends envied my decision to move. It's a new chapter of life.

How to Tell if You’re Ready to Move to a New City

Indications it's time to move

“You know it's time to consider a sizable move when less and less of your life is exciting or challenges you in ways that you want to be challenged or inspired. This could mean your job, the city itself, and the relationships you have in the area,” said Jane Scudder, marketing manager and culture team lead at in Atlanta, where she now lives after making a big move from Washington, D.C.

“Personally I was living in the same region for a couple of years. I felt comfortable in my job but knew I would be challenged and grow more elsewhere, and I didn't feel tied to the area where I was living (e.g., wasn't in a relationship, had no family in the area). I accepted a new career opportunity and moved from Washington, DC to Atlanta last summer,” Scudder said.

Make plans but be flexible

Scudder said, “When women are considering and ready to make a move, it's important to have a plan but also important to be open and a little laid back. Consider your moving budget: is a company moving you or are you taking on the brunt of the financial responsibilities? Hiring movers, renting trucks, and making the trip itself is expensive. Also you might be faced with double rent for a few weeks. If you're moving on a tight budget you might need to plan out what you can and can't afford. At the same time, be relaxed about it. Moving is stressful and if the worst case scenario is that you lose a couple hundred dollars on double rent to get in your dream apartment in a new city, that's worth it. Take time to assess your own wants and needs.”

How to Tell if You’re Ready to Move to a New City

5 Things to consider before moving

Nancy B. Irwin, a Los Angeles-based therapist and hypnotist who helps people with life changes, offered her suggestions on the five things to take into account before moving:

  1. If you wait until things are “perfect” to make this change, you will be dead. Prepare for some set-backs and imperfections.
  2. Make a list of the most important values and needs for your environment. If you get even 70% of them, you are doing great.
  3. Pick a date well enough in advance, and get psychologically geared up for it. Do your research and go for it.
  4. Don't listen to the naysayers. They are typically fear-based, and you want to be love/adventure-based. Listen to your heart.
  5. Prepare for the worst possible outcome. Could you return if you end up hating it?

Once you've moved, a good tip is to first find a great place to live that's fairly close to your new job. You can always move later, once you get to know the area. But minimizing your commute time when you first arrive in town will make life easier at the potentially stressful time of getting to know a new city. That will also give you time to assess the various areas, and find out where your favorite restaurants and shopping areas are located, as well as where your new friends live, and take that into consideration when you sign a new lease or buy a house.

Going in with the right attitude makes all the difference. If you move to a city with an open mind, and expect to like it, you will automatically look for interesting things to enjoy and you'll be smiling and making new friends as you experience the beauty of your new city, wherever it may be. The reverse is also true. If you move with a negative attitude, and worry that you'll hate your new home, then the likelihood of this coming true is far greater than if you'd had more positive thoughts.

Tagged in: career success, moving, life change,


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