If you've moved at any point in your life from one part of your city to another, you know that the experience can be just as stressful as it is rewarding. It's not just a change in living space – it's a new route and schedule for work, the need for a new stylist, nail tech, church and neighborhood happy place. Now imagine the complexity of moving to a new city for a new job?
If you're thinking of spreading your wings to fly to a new city, take a look at some helpful tips from some boss women who've made the move.
Skyra Thomas, Founder of Flip The Zip/Director of Operations and Support Services
Skyra Thomas, a Brooklyn native relocated to Houston in 2016 and was enticed by the city's weather, climate, lifestyle, entrepreneurship opportunities and culture for black women. But amidst her moving, she realized there simply were not a lot of resources for black women moving. This probed her to create Flip The Zip, an online platform that provides resources, empowerment guidance and support to those in various stages of relocate.
Take Advantage of Your Circle
"Unless you're moving to Timbuktu, it's very likely that someone in your network knows someone where you're going… All that you need is probably in your circle. You just have to be intentional with stating what you need and making that clear and a little more frequent because people forget."
Prior to moving, a fellow colleague at her job at the time recommended her to an older couple in Houston who ultimately helped her transition with housing for six weeks while she job hunted and solidified a place to stay.
Plan Ahead for Your Move
Skyra began packing and adjusting her lifestyle four months ahead of her actual move. She cut back on cable and moved in with her best friend the last few weeks, and went roughly three months without paying rent, lived off of her last month's rent, and then lived off her security deposit and last month's rent prior to her move. She also got rid of boxes of items she did not need and bedroom furniture. In addition, she had $20,000 saved prior to her move. "I know that moving is such a hassle and I wanted to scale back as much as possible."
Kamali Burke, Account Director/Communications Strategist
Kamali Burke is an Orlando native, but began her move for work between Miami and New York City in 2013. Her first move was from her job with a lifestyle PR agency in Miami to New York City to run a one-man show at the firm's satellite office. Since then, she has worked with three different companies between the two cities.
Ask About Relocation Benefits
"I would highly recommend if any company is asking you to move, that you're negotiating that as part of your benefits package, like asking them if they'd be willing to offset those costs. Or use it as an opportunity to negotiate an increased salary. More times than not, they have something in their budget or they'd be willing to offer you some other benefits for your transition."
Other benefits can include your work schedule flexibility, vacation and sick days. "Asking for that as part of your package is also highly recommended so that they're giving you the availability that you need or letting you work from home or letting you feel as if you can take the time that you need to get settled."
There May Not Be Time to Prepare
Remember that time you went out for a job and said you'd be ready to leave your current job as soon as possible for their offer? If there's a job vacancy that impacts a company's operations and that vacancy becomes filled, you better believe their concern is about filling that gap as soon as possible. Kamali found this to be true when she moved from New York to Miami with a short turnaround time.
"They wanted me to start right after the new year in January, and I had already booked a flight home for the holidays for Christmas. But I just decided there's no point in coming back, they want me to start this job so it was days before. I wasn't prepared," said Kamali.
Save, Save, Save!
It's better to be over-prepared than under-prepared. "There's things you take for granted like how much a mover is going to be, packing supplies, finding boxes, if you have to get storage temporarily, flights for you, extra charges for bringing a few more suitcases and things you'd like to ship. I'd definitely recommend saving a couple thousand dollars if you can."
Maria Hurley, Educator
Maria Hurley made a major coastal move to follow her dream of living a different coastal experience from New York City to sunny California.
Cultural Clashes May Exist
Be prepared for a potential culture shift if it's contrary from where you're coming from. "I found that people talk about race more openly in California than in New York City. People are also much kinder, so it was a shift where if I didn't talk to someone, it came off as rude. But being from New York City, it's what I'm used to."
Be Prepared for Unexpected Air and Travel Cost
If you have a pet, make sure you know how they will get to your destination. "Some airports have specifications on pets and don't allow certain breeds to fly. "
Vehicles can be costly as well. "If you have a car and bring it, make sure you have a plan for getting your vehicle registered, because when that registration goes up in the state you're in and you have to register in that state, then that's an expense you have to be prepared for."
*Some responses have been edited and condensed for clarity.
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This post is in partnership with Amgen.
The seemingly simple task of taking a breath is something most of us don’t think twice about. But for people who live with severe asthma, breathing does not always come easily. Asthma, a chronic respiratory condition that inflames and narrows the airways in the lungs, affects millions of people worldwide – 5-10% of which live with severe asthma. Severe asthma is a chronic and lifelong condition that is unpredictable and can be difficult to manage. Though often invisible to the rest of the world, severe asthma is a not-so-silent companion for those who live with it, often interrupting schedules and impacting day-to-day life.
Among the many individuals who battle severe asthma, Black women face a unique set of challenges. It's not uncommon for us to go years without a proper diagnosis, and finding the right treatment often requires some trial and error. Thankfully, all hope is not lost for those who may be fighting to get their severe asthma under control. We spoke with Juanita Brown Ingram, Esq. and Jania Watson, two inspiring Black women who have been living with severe asthma and have found strength, resilience, and a sense of purpose in their journeys.
Juanita Brown Ingram, Esq.
Juanita Ingram has a resume that would make anyone’s jaw drop. On top of being recently crowned Mrs. Universe, she’s also an accomplished attorney, filmmaker, and philanthropist. From the outside, it seems there’s nothing this talented woman won’t try, and likely succeed at. In her everyday life, however, Juanita exercises a lot more caution. From a young age, Juanita has struggled with severe asthma. Her symptoms were always exacerbated by common illnesses like a cold or flu. “I've heard these stories of my breathing struggles, but I remember distinctly when I was younger not being able to breathe every time I got a virus,” says Ingram. “I remember missing a lot of school and crying a lot because asthma is painful. I [was taken] to see my doctor often if I got sick with anything so I was hypervigilant as a child, and I still am.”
Today, Juanita says her symptoms are best managed when she’s working closely with her care team, avoiding getting sick and staying ahead of any symptoms. Ingram said she’s been blessed with skilled doctors who are just as vigilant of her symptoms as she is. While competing in the Mrs. Universe competition, Juanita took extra care to stay clear of other competitors to ensure she didn’t catch a cold or virus that would trigger her severe asthma. “I would stand off to the side and sometimes that could be taken as ‘oh, she thinks she's better than everybody else.’ But if I get sick during a pageant, I'm done. I had to compete with that in mind because my sickness doesn't look like everybody else's sickness.”
Even when her symptoms are under control, living with severe asthma still presents challenges. Juanita relies on her strong support system to overcome the hurdles caused by a lack of understanding from the public, “I think that there's a lot of lack of awareness about how serious severe asthma is. I would [also] tell women to advocate and to trust their intuition and not to allow someone to dismiss what you're experiencing.”
Jania, a content creator from Atlanta, Georgia, has been living with severe asthma for many years. Thanks to early testing by asthma specialists, Jania was diagnosed with severe asthma as a child after experiencing frequent flare-ups and challenges in her day-to-day life. “I specifically remember, I was starting school, and we were moving into a new house. One of the triggers for me and my younger sister at the time were certain types of carpets. We had just moved into this new house and within weeks of us being there, my parents literally had to pay for all new carpet in the house.”
As Jania grew older, she was suffering from fewer flare-ups and thought her asthma was well under control. However, a trip back to her doctor during high school revealed that her severe asthma was affecting her more than she realized. “That was the first time in a long time I had to do a breathing test,” she describes. “The doctor had me take a deep breath in and blow into a machine to test my breathing. They told me to blow as hard as I could. And I was doing it. I was giving everything I got. [My dad and the doctor] were looking at me like ‘girl, stop playing.’ And at that point [it confirmed] I still have severe asthma because I've given it all I got. It doesn't really go away, but I just learned how to help manage it better.”
Jania recognizes that people who aren’t living with asthma, may not understand the disease and mistake it for something less serious. Or there could be others who think their symptoms are minor, and not worth bringing up. So, for Jania, communicating with others about her diagnosis is key. “Having severe asthma [flare-ups] in some cases looks very similar to being out of shape,” she said. “But this is a chronic illness that I was born with. This is just something that I live with that I've been dealing with. And I think it's important for people to know because that determines the next steps. [They might ask] ‘Do you need a bottle of water, or do you need an inhaler? Do you need to take a break, or do we need to take you to the hospital?’ So, I think letting the people around you know what's going on, just in case anything were to happen plays a lot into it as well.”
Like Juanita, Jania’s journey has been marked by ups and downs, but she remains an unwavering advocate for asthma awareness and support within the Black community. She hopes that her story can be an inspiration to other women with asthma who may not yet have their symptoms under control. “There's still life to be lived outside of having severe asthma. It is always going to be there, but it's not meant to stop you from living your life. That’s why learning how to manage it and also having that support system around you, is so important.”
By sharing their journeys, Juanita and Jania hope to encourage others to embrace their conditions, obtain a proper management plan from a doctor or asthma specialist like a pulmonologist or allergist, and contribute to the improvement of asthma awareness and support, not only within the Black community, but for all individuals living with severe asthma.
Read more stories from others like Juanita and Jania on Amgen.com, or visit Uncontrolled Asthma In Black Women | BREAK THE CYCLE to find support and resources.
Being a confident Black, plus-size woman wasn't something I was always good at. Although plus-size visibility has increased over the years, it is still easy to feel underrepresented. Plus-size women face societal pressures and biases that can affect their mental and emotional well-being. My go-to resources that help me are plus-size podcasts.
Besides having an amazing tribe who's always made me feel seen, plus-size positive podcasts have helped me navigate life from a "bigger" perspective. These podcasts provide a platform for authentic conversations that cover a range of topics, from self-love and body positivity to fashion, relationships, and overall well-being. By listening to the experiences of others who share similar struggles and victories, plus-size women can find inspiration, validation, and a sense of belonging.
Here are five of my favorite plus-size positive podcasts to listen to as a plus-size woman.
Why Won't You Date Me? With Nicole Byer
Hosted by comedian Nicole Byer, "Why Won't You Date Me?" takes a unique and humorous approach to the plus-size experience in the realm of dating. Byer candidly shares her dating escapades, discussing the challenges, hilarities, and lessons learned. With a mix of wit and vulnerability, the podcast offers a refreshing take on love, relationships, and self-acceptance, making it a must-listen for those navigating the complexities of dating as a plus-size individual.
Peach, Please! Podcast
The Peach, Please! podcast is a vibrant addition to the plus-size positive podcast landscape, championing the plus-size community and the journey toward self-love. With a focus on fostering a sense of belonging, the podcast delves into discussions about body positivity, self-care, and the diverse experiences of plus-size individuals. Hosted by Katie Winnen, Peach, Please! creates an inclusive space where listeners can find inspiration and encouragement on their path to embracing their bodies and cultivating self-love.
Big Girls Gone Wild
Big Girls Gone Wild podcast is a unique take on embracing life as a plus-size individual. The podcast, hosted by Kat and Anne, explores various aspects of the big and bold experience, celebrating self-expression, confidence, and empowerment. With candid conversations and a lively atmosphere, Big Girls Gone Wild contributes to the diverse landscape of plus-size podcasts, providing a platform for women to embrace their uniqueness and live life boldly.
Fat Girls Traveling: The Podcast
Fat Girls Traveling: The Podcast provides a unique perspective on the intersection of travel and the plus-size experience. Hosted by Annette Richmond and Devon Kitzo-Creed, the podcast shares stories, tips, and challenges related to travel, empowering plus-size individuals to embrace their wanderlust without reservations. Through insightful discussions, the podcast encourages a positive and inclusive approach to travel, challenging stereotypes and inspiring listeners to embark on adventures confidently.
The Plus Size Experience
As the name suggests, The Plus Size Experience podcast offers a firsthand account of life through the lens of plus-size individuals. Hosted by Michaela Leitz, a luxury stylist in size-inclusive fashion, the podcast explores various aspects of the plus-size journey, from body positivityand self-acceptance to fashion, relationships, and personal growth. Through open and honest conversations, The Plus Size Experience adds to the growing chorus of plus-size positive podcasts, creating a space that empowers individuals to embrace their bodies and confidently navigate life.
Plus-size positive podcasts support and encourage women to navigate a world that often falls short in acknowledging their experiences. These podcasts provide a platform for authentic conversations, dismantle stereotypes, and foster a sense of community. By tuning in, plus-size individuals can find inspiration, practical advice, and the validation they deserve on their journey towards self-love and acceptance.
Feature image by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for NeueHouse