Growing up in the country,  I have always wondered what it would be like to live in New York City. It’s still my dream to one day end up there, but deciding where I want to live and work is a big deal and not something I take lightly.

If you’re like me and you aren’t sure where you want to end up, here are some ideas that may help you pick the perfect location to begin your next journey:

  1.     List out qualities that are important to you

Do you want to be close to family and friends? Maybe you want to be far away? Do you want to know all of your neighbors and be walking distance to any store? Whatever you think is most important, consider making a literal list and looking for areas that match what you want.

  1.     Set a limit on the distance from home you are willing to relocate

This relates to whether you want to be close or far from home. Family is really important to a lot of people, but sometimes as much as you love your family you want to move a go to a new place. Both decisions to stay near to or to move away from home are good decisions, but it depends on what works best for you. If you haven’t lived more than 2 hours away from home for an extended period of time, you might want to consider giving it try before moving away.

  1.     Research cities that have the best opportunities for the types of jobs you are seeking

Sometimes our ideal locations don’t always have the jobs we are seeking. It is important to remember that you have to make a living wherever you end up moving to, so make sure you are looking for jobs that fit the career path you are seeking as you begin to look at places where you want to live.

  1.      Look up the cost of living in your top 3 locations

Cost of living is a small detail that many people forget to think about as they are starting to look for places to work after college. Chicago, New York, and San Francisco sound like great places to live, but they also cost an arm and a leg to live there. Housing, food, and transportation will eat up your paycheck no matter where you live, but some places are a lot more affordable than others.

  1.      Weigh your options, pray, and talk with family and friends

Once you have a list of places that meet all of your needs and satisfy some of your wants, you should talk to people that you know and trust about your thoughts. For me, this would look like a lot of prayers mixed with talks with my parents and mentors.

Choosing where you want to start your life after college isn’t an easy choice, but where you start out doesn’t mean you have to end up there. People move all the time. Just remember that where you live doesn’t define you and no matter what you will always have a home with the people who love and care about you.

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