This post will deal with the 5th reason I listed for uprooting your life: when you've hit a wall and decided you just have to move.
Sometimes you hit a wall, either personally or professionally or both. Something clicks, and you know with some certainty that you can't be where you are anymore. When that happens it's time to weigh your options and ask yourself:
- Location: Where do I want to live?
- Job: What do I want to do for work? What's the job market like for that industry in my desired location?
- Savings: How much do I have? Is it enough to move? How long with it last?
- Support system: Do I need one? Do I have one in my desired location?
- Moving expenses: Am I going to keep my furniture or get rid of it? How am I going to get my belongs to be new location?
- Housing: Do I have a place to live while I look for a job? How long do I have that place for?
If you can answer all those questions with some level of satisfaction, then congrats, you're ready move!
The wall for me was sometime mid-year, 4 or 5 months before I actually left New York City. I'd hit a point in my job where I couldn't grow any more, and I knew it was time to move on. But I was comfortable. My coworkers and the mission of the organization kept me from looking for something else, and outside of work I had an enviable living situation, close friends, and activities I enjoyed. My life was good.
New York City, on the other hand, was never one of those places I wanted to end up long-term. Even before I moved there, the city felt claustrophobic to me. My ideal place to live was somewhere with access to urban amenities, but more green space and blue skies. I had been there over seven years. I was done. My friends will tell you I'd been saying that for 7 years, and it's true I had been, but in the moment where I hit a wall, my gut and not just my brain told me I'd had enough.
I knew where I wanted to live (San Francisco) and I decided to move at the end of November because some family friends were traveling for three weeks. I jumped at the chance to house-sit (and cat-sit). It would give me time to network, find a place to live, and hopefully find a source of income, even if it was just temping for a little while. I had enough savings to last a couple months, and a large network of friends, family, and former classmates to tap into for support. It was the ideal situation for uprooting my life without a job to go to.