The jump was heavily motivated by an adolescence that consisted of binge-watching both Sex and the City and Gossip Girl, but, unlike most poorly planned life decisions, it actually worked out pretty well.
Because I managed to surprise myself by actually landing a job - and a good one, at that. Below, I'll impart some of my newfound wisdom into making it in the Big Apple.
I’m going to assume that, like how most good stories begin, you are nearly broke, know only one to two people in New York, are hard-working with some experience behind you and are looking for an entry to mid-level position.
Here are six steps that will get you there in no time (probably one to three months).
1. Be there
Before I moved, everyone told me that to get a job in New York you have to be in New York. This could not be truer. There is almost no point in applying for jobs or emailing companies more than a week in advance of your arrival. Everything in New York moves quickly, and if you can’t pop into an office or give a US phone number, they will soon lose interest. If you do plan on emailing in advance, always pretend you are in New York already and put a friends address on your CV.
2. Remove your ego and expectations
Whoever you are in Australia is cute but no one in New York cares. You may be a big shot who has worked really hard to build the contacts that you have, but you have to understand that you will almost be starting from scratch once you board the plane. You are moving to a place where everyone you meet is also a go-getter with a side grind. I have never met so many people with dashes in their job description - full-time writer/part-time model/part-time musician is a very common combination here. While there are thousands of job opportunities in your field, there are also thousands more people who already know the area and are going for those same jobs. Set realistic goals and become at peace with building your contacts again from the ground up.
3. Find your job-hunting routine
The right job-hunting schedule will be different for everyone. For me, I liked waking up early and emailing for a few hours before starting my day. You are in a new, exciting city and it is very easy to get distracted, but you must set a few hours aside every day to apply and email. Indeed and LinkedIn will become your new best friends. I did try and stand out by printing my CV and handing it in in person, but that was never well received. People tend to look at you like maybe the Southern Hemisphere doesn’t have Internet connection if you do this; so sticking to those two sites will save you embarrassment and printing money.
Once you begin to get replies, the interview process will become your full-time job. Interviews in New York come in many rounds, take what feels like an unlimited number of weeks and are extremely intense. Interviewing for a Korean-beauty blogging position but not being able to recite all 10 steps in the popular Korean skin-care regimen won’t cut it. And yes, I am speaking from that very specific experience.
4. Just Do It
Instagram is now an essential part of your CV, whether you like it or not. The more you go to local events around you, the more people you will meet. The worst thing that can happen is that you don’t meet anyone in your industry but make some new friends anyway. People are friendlier than you think and the places you end up will surprise you. I went to the Gurls Talk festival in March, ended up chatting to Adwoa Aboah and getting invited to a group shoot at Teen Vogue afterwards. New York is the kind of place where you begin the day at one event and end up spending your night at an entirely new one. This brings so many opportunities for networking but more importantly is always guaranteed to be more fun than staying at home in your pyjamas.
5. Utilise contacts but don’t rely on them
Now you may not know an editor at The New York Times, but there is no one that has no contacts at all. Contacts can come from anywhere. My most helpful contacts included a family friend who my sister met at youth group over 10 years ago and the daughter of my boyfriend’s mum’s work colleague. There are plenty of Australians up to some amazing things in New York, and chances are your uncle’s neighbour knows them. Always reach out to them but never expect anything. I have found fellow Aussies to be either really helpful, or even less helpful than local New Yorkers. Tall poppy syndrome is a thing and not everyone is keen to rally together to help people from home.
6. Never give up
You will reach a point where you are describing yourself as “funemployed” and contemplating whether or not anyone will ever hire you. You will, in a desperate moment, try and apply for your local dog walking service, only to have them also reject you. It will be the very next day after your lowest point of hope that you will get an email from a place you applied for four weeks ago. The stream of jobs is never ending so there is no reason to give up. Many job stories I hear take around one to six months. You will get there eventually and when you do, like childbirth, you can forget about all the pain and suffering until you decide you want a new one.