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Scared of moving to a new city?

Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:45 pm
by Anonymous User
This is a bit of a venting post, and I feel really silly/juvenile asking this, but I figured I'd post and get some perspective. I just graduated last year and am in my stub year. I am living in the city I went to law school. Long story short, I struck out during 2L, but thankfully landed a contract in-house position at a company. Since my contract period was coming to a close, I had been on the job search for a good while, essentially applying to any open position that was out there. A couple of weeks ago, I landed an interview with a big law firm in a secondary market and somehow, I managed to get the job. While I was obviously excited to get the offer, it is now hitting me that I would have to move to a new city where I know nothing about and essentially start a new life. And to be honest, it is starting to terrify me a little. I've been in my current city for the past 5-6 years and have a very well established group of friends and acquaintances. I'm in my 30s (I went to law school fairly late) and am social enough, but not so social that I can go up to strangers and strike up a conversation. I know my current city in and out (if you ask me, I can give you answers to everything from my favorite shoe store to my favorite ice cream place). In contrast this city, when I went for my screener and callback interviews, was just so different from where I live right now (I was honestly a little shocked at how different it was because given that it is also a major city, I expected there to be a lot more similarities). While I know that in my head, career-wise the right decision would be to take the job and move, the thought of working big law hours in a new practice area in a new city with no support network at all is seriously scaring the hell out of me. Can anyone give me their thoughts on this?

Re: Scared of moving to a new city?

Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:58 pm
by jhett
It sounds like (but correct me if I'm wrong) that the city you are currently living in is not your hometown. If that is the case, how did you settle into your current city when you first arrived? And can't you do the same thing in the next city?

You could ask your friends if they know friends in the new city that could help acclimate you. Sometimes friends of friends are the best way to begin a new network. You may also find a friend or two at work. Or you could use your school's alumni network to meet some people. Or you can engage in your hobbies in the new city and meet people that way. In the meantime, you can connect with old friends over Facetime/Skype/Hangouts/whatever. Also, you can do things alone as well - you don't always need someone else by your side.

There are many ways to build a new life from scratch. It may not be easy and it may take a while, but don't let the fear stop you from making a good career move.

Re: Scared of moving to a new city?

Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:17 pm
by minnbills
Hey OP - I am going through a similar situation right now. I moved to a new city along with my girlfriend for a clerkship. Since then, I've accepted an offer to join a big law firm this fall, and my girlfriend and I are breaking up. So, I will be starting a biglaw job in this new(ish) city with very limited social connections here. For me, I'm going through with this because in one year at my new firm (NYC Biglaw, with clerkship bonus) I will be able to pay off all my remaining student loans and also save about 100k. The experience I'll be getting should open a lot of doors back home too, which is a small market. I've also worked hard to develop some friendships at the court I am currently clerking at. I've been able to do 1-2 happy hours a month with co-workers, and also sprinkle in some networking events, some friends have come to visit, and I am doing some other travel over upcoming weekends. It's not perfect, but taking these steps has helped a lot.

How close is this new city to your current one? If they're close enough, you can fly/drive back every once in a while to hang out. Even doing this for a weekend once a month or so can make a big difference in your outlook, and given your salary it won't be cost-prohibitive. You will likely make friends at your new firm too, and since you'll be working a lot anyways, it's not like you're going to have a lot of time for social stuff outside of work.

This is a tough situation. I totally hear you that it's scary. But I guess what I would say is you've just got to make the most of it. There is no reason you can't stick it out for a year and then use your experience to lateral back to your old city. A year (especially when broken up with a few trips back) is not that long. Also, you never know - you may end up making some really close friends and loving your new city. Try and go in with an open mind and make the most of it.

Anecdotally, one of my best friends from law school ended up taking his first job in a new (and very small) city because it was the best he could do. He recently accepted an offer to lateral back to the city in which we went to law school, is with a great firm, and is happy as a clam.

Re: Scared of moving to a new city?

Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:23 pm
by eastcoast_iub
I understand your concern. I lateralled to a firm in a major city where I have no ties and which is halfway across the country from my hometown. I have my wife and daughter with me, but it still hard for us because we don't have the support network here. However, the firm I went to was leaps and bounds better than my old firm and I felt that I had no choice but to do this for the sake of my career and the exit opportunities this firm can open up for me now. I feel like the experience I am gaining will give me the flexibility to move closer to home whenever the time arises.

I think the same reasoning applies to you. There will be some growing pains but I think the pay increase and better experience you will get at the big law firm means you have to go. You can always just do a few years and then go back to your current city or somewhere you are more comfortable.

Plus with online dating being what it is now it is so much easier to find an SO or at least someone to date. So that should help ease your transition.

Re: Scared of moving to a new city?

Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 3:20 pm
by smokeylarue
You have no choice, that's the way you have to look at it, will pay off for your career and life many times over. Not going to sugarcoat it, you will probably be miserable in loneliness, I could never move to a city where I don't have any friends or family, hopefully the Biglaw resume can allow you to lateral back to your desired city after a couple years.

Re: Scared of moving to a new city?

Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:33 pm
by Anonymous User
I'm going to a completely new city for a new job. Don't know a single person other than my boss. I plan on buying a dog and taking it one day at a time.

Re: Scared of moving to a new city?

Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:52 pm
by Anonymous User
OP here. Thank you all for the perspectives (even the non-sugarcoated one). It is comforting to know that this isn't an completely uncommon dilemma and that others have gone through similar trials. Really going to try to focus on the big picture and go forward with an open mind (or at least, try to make myself go forward with an open mind lol).