“Cost of living in California is so expensive!” “You’re going to move to California without a job?!” “You know it’s really hard to find a job in California, right?” “What do you mean you’re going to move to California without a place to live?!”
These were some of the most common phrases I heard when I told my friends and family in Minnesota that I was going to drive my little car to California in about 2 weeks.
Moving to California had always been a dream of mine and for the longest time, I never believed it would actually be obtainable. Here’s why:
- Everyone, I mean everyone, was telling me that it would be way to expensive to live in California especially as a recent college grad with no real work experience. What’s ironic is that the people who were telling me this didn’t even live or never have lived in California.
- When I began to seriously consider if living in California would be feasible for me, I started by searching online for apartments. The price for a studio in Orange County was two to three times more expensive than the one I had lined up for me in Minnesota, which translates to: a studio that I simply just couldn’t afford.
- I decided to apply to jobs on Indeed just for fun while visiting my friend in California to see if I could possibly land a job there. Let me tell you, I got a bunch of rejection emails.
- I didn’t have a lot of money saved up. By the time I moved to California, I literally only had $1,000 saved and $2,000 credit line.
Despite all of these considerations, I nevertheless decided to go ahead and make the leap. Not only did I move to California, but I was able to do so in two weeks instead of the one year timeframe I had initially planned.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
- Persistence will get you where you need to be.
I spent a lot of my time filling out applications & sending my resumes to so many jobs online. Believe me, it gets tiring and discouraging to receive so many rejection emails but you’ve got to keep trying. By being persistent, I was able to land the job that I dreamed of.
- Live within your means.
Figure out your needs versus your wants. For instance, I wanted my own place but all I needed was a roof over my head, therefore I found roommates. I found myself wanting a convertible car but all I really needed was a car that takes me from point A to point B. I’ve learned to be grateful for the things that I do have.
- The things that scare you the most end up being the most rewarding experiences.
To be completely honest, I was terrified moving out here without a job. But, looking back now, I’m so happy I pushed myself to do it. I feel like people don’t give themselves enough credit. You really can do anything you set your mind to. You’ve just got to go ahead & try. The only thing truly holding you back is yourself. You learn so much about yourself once you take that step outside the confinements of your comfort zone.
Tips + Tricks:
- Check out Kangaroom or Trulia for available rooms to rent.
- If you want to live close to the beach in OC but are on a tight budget, avoid Newport Beach + Laguna Beach and maybe try looking into Costa Mesa or Irvine. These are usually cheaper in price but still pretty close to the beach!
- For even more affordable cities in OC look into: Garden Grove, Westminster, Orange, or Anaheim. From what I’ve noticed, the more inland the city, the lower the rent typically is.
- Apply to a lot, and I mean a lot of jobs. Indeed is a great website and it’s where I found my job!