By Claire Crowley • March 14, 2017•Writers in Residence
I decided to devote this blog post to my recent move for work and to hopefully offer some encouragement and advice to others out there who are considering doing the same.
Jumping into the unknown is daunting. This past weekend I took that jump when I relocated from Vermont to Boston for a new job. On its own, starting a new job is a major life change. A new job is the beginning of new challenges, a new routine and in my case - a new lifestyle.
One week ago I was living in rural Vermont, on a dirt road riddled with frost heaves next door to neighbors who kept sheep, roosters and the occasional cow. My life was ingrained in small town living - where doors aren’t locked at night and where cow roundup became a part of my evening commute. Bonfires were commonplace, as was knowing everyone in line at the grocery store. Having grown up mostly in the suburbia of Connecticut, I immersed myself in this new world where locally grown and organic everything was the norm for almost all restaurant menus and the country’s best craft beer was never hard to find. While in Vermont, I met some of the best friends I will ever have - and had some amazing life and career experiences. I was happy, but yearning for something more. So I left.
The change has been immense, greater than I ever could have fathomed. The opportunities for both personal and professional growth are much more plentiful in Boston. I went from being kept awake night by roosters (yes, they crow at all hours) and the brightness of the moon and stars shimmering against the darkest of night skies to the sound of sirens screaming across the Zakim Bridge. While the change has been daunting, it’s been rewarding in the simple fact that I can say “I did it”. I left my comfort zone to have a new experience and to live the city life for a bit. My main push to do so was that I didn’t want to look back on my life ten years from now and wonder what if - what if I hadn’t explored new opportunities and a new way of living. Now, downtown Boston has become my unknown wild, just like the woods and mountains of Vermont were only a short time ago.
There are many topics to consider if you’re thinking about relocating for a new job, especially one that involves a move out of state. You should look into the change of your cost of living, especially if you’re going from a rural area to a city or vice versa. Do you need to sell your car or buy a new one? Rent and mortgage prices vary wildly depending on location - as do attorney salaries. Small costs, such as the cost of groceries, gym memberships and the cost for a night out with friends are easily things that can be overlooked when you relocate but this can also have a huge impact on your finances.
You should also consider the location. You want to make sure you move to a place that you actually like and could be happy living in. Do you have friends in the area? Are there networking events and groups to join that interest you? Can you start or further your hobbies and passions like I am doing with my blog, Legal Travels?
However I think the most important thing to consider before relocating is to follow your gut instinct - that little voice that says ‘do it’ or ‘don’t do it’ might be the best advice to follow. For me, moving to Boston had been a years-long dream fulfilled and I listened to my gut instinct that was encouraging me to make the move. I know that Vermont will always be there, should I decide to return. My advice is that if you are torn about making a career and life change, you should go for it. You can always move back to your comfort zone if the change doesn’t suit you, and you might not even miss where you used to call home.