I've been a new New Yorker for about 2 months now. I moved to the Big Apple to live out my dream of one day working at a style publication. Like most women, I've always dreamed of moving to New York in my 20's to chase a career, love and life, much like my girl Carrie Bradshaw. But New York hasn't been all bright lights and big dreams. It's been a roller coaster!
In the last two months, I started two new jobs, moved into a new apartment, ended a 2-year relationship and turned 24. Woah! So here's a few things I've learned on my journey as a new New Yorker.
1. Everyone here has at least two jobs.
If it's one thing New York has taught me its that the things I want won't come easy. Everyone here is hustling from the guy on the corner selling DVDs to the fashion intern volunteering at every fashion week event she can. Here you have to want it bad enough to do it for free. So many people here work full time jobs and volunteer, freelance or intern in addition. But you know what they say about New York: "if you can make it here you can make it anywhere!"
“The biggest lesson I'm learning in New York is about timing. There's so much to do, so much going on and everything has a particular time and place that often conflicts with other things I want to do. I'm realizing I can't do everything and that wherever I am at the moment is okay and it deserves my full attention at that point in time.” -Meagan Jordan, 2 month New Yorker & First year student in Columbia University’s Graduate Journalism program
2. Have a good poker face.
There is so much heckling and cat calling that goes on in the streets of New York that you've got to have a great poker face. Not only has it helped fend of creepy men but I've totally adopted that "I'm a New Yorker, don't mess with me" vibe. A good poker face will keep the creeps and fakes at bay.
3. You've got to pinch pennies here!
New York is sooooo expensive! My rent is close to $1,000 a month as opposed to my previous rent in North Carolina which was a measly $500 a month! Living here where the cost of living is so high has taught me to be more frugal + be a smarter shopper. If I'm going to spend money on clothes I want quality for the price I'm paying so I won't have to dish out the money again. Also, I've found that I rather spend money on experiences instead of things. I save my money to go to cool functions like AfroPunk.
4. Brunch is a big deal...like, a really big deal.
In New York brunch is just not a mid day meal but it is an intricate ritual all 20somethings must take part in! There are so many connections to be made here and brunching is the best and most casual way to do it. I've made some really great professional connections over mimosas in midtown at brunch.
5. Who you know is so important.
That saying "it's all about who you know not what you know" rings so true in the big apple! Your network is your net worth here. I've met people who are friends with bloggers and celebrities I love. They can call them up and ask for a favor, now that's network POWER. How great would it be to have an industry powerhouse vouch for you? New York is showing me that your network truly is your net worth and that what someone says of you is way better than anything you can ever say about yourself. Get you some good references girl!
“New York is tough. The city will put just the right amount of pressure on you to make you a diamond. After that, you can conquer anything! ” -Simone Suber, 2 year New Yorker & Digital Marketing Manager at Carol’s Daughter
6. Ambition beats talent.
Yes, talent may get you there but it's not enough to keep you there. In the fashion industry where I work there are so many talents with original ideas and awe inspiring creativity but many talents lack the ambition to drive staying power. You've got to hustle here. There are 20 other people who would kill to have your opportunity. Don't let anyone outwork you!
7. Nothing goes as planned.
Here it takes me an hour to get anywhere. I don't drive in New York so I ride the train or take a cab. Time of arrival is always unpredictable...much like life. You may not know when your going to arrive at that next opportunity but you e got to keep traveling towards it. There maybe delays, bumps in the roads, traffic that slows your journey down but you've got to keep pushing girl!
Are you New York? Let us know what lessons the Big Ape has taught you down below in the comments!