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Thread: wanna move eventually—need encouragement, if it's out there

  1. #1

    Default wanna move eventually—need encouragement, if it's out there

    hey all

    I've popped up a few times on here with various pairs of pennies, but now I'd like to tell you what's really on my mind. Basic story:

    * 32 years old
    * graphic designer by trade, but also generally into creative fields--interested in doing photography, film, music (in two bands right now, and also into recording), writing, etc.
    * lifelong resident of an almost utterly boring Midwestern city, whose glory days are well in the past
    * has lived in same neighborhood, in one of the two same houses on the same two streets, for entire life; parents still live a block away--we're talking major Greek ghetto life pattern here, except this is a residential area full of moronic clean-cut college kids near the state university, in aforementioned boring city
    * living with wonderful girl from New Jersey who would like to go back east and would not like to go alone
    * has dreamed of moving to NYC since college, for many reasons, but never did, mainly because of fear of the unknown, fear of homesickness, got jobs just in the nick of time, etc.
    * now, at 32 with a steady job, bills, credit debt...afraid to—haunted by horror stories about ending up penniless in the big, bad, ultracompetitive, and uncaring City; worried about job prospects, whether own abilities are "enough", getting by...
    * feels like time is slipping by and doesn't want to be 40 when he finally gets up the nerve to effin' move, which is stupid of course

    Basically, what I'm getting at is that I desperately want to come to NYC for at least a while before I get too old—I've made it an explicit long-term goal—but I'm incapacitated by uncertanties and fear. I'm not scared of big city life, so to speak, but rather my ability to get by, find work (I actually want to try transitioning to freelance work, if that's not an insanely dumb idea) and a reasonable place to stay, and so on. Certainly threads on this forum like the cost-of-living and finding-an-apartment ones have dampened my spirits a bit. It just sounds so out of my reach.

    I guess I'm hoping to find some encouragement from some of you who actually live out there, who can maybe put some of my fears to rest and knock me out of my paralysis. I'd especially like to hear from other designers and people in the creative fields about what the terrain is like out there, besides that it's dog-eat-dog. I'm not looking for a guarantee that I'll make a great living and have a network-sitcom-grade apartment in Midtown Manhattan, but just some kind and knowledgeable words to reassure me that I'm not pipe dreaming, and that relocating something that I can do.

    Appreciate it, folks, thanks...

    cheers

    Billy S.
    Last edited by moogyboy; June 27th, 2006 at 04:53 PM.

  2. #2
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    The most important thing for you Bill is your career and experience and being able to find yourself here in New York. You said that you're "graphic designer by trade, but also generally into creative fields--interested in doing photography, film, music (in two bands right now, and also into recording), writing, etc." That's a long list. How do you make a living? What is your recent work history? Can you try to get the job before you move to New York (fly here to interview, etc.)?

    I would think that finding a good job should be your #1 priority (as well as it should be for your gf).

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrSpice
    The most important thing for you Bill is your career and experience and being able to find yourself here in New York. You said that you're "graphic designer by trade, but also generally into creative fields--interested in doing photography, film, music (in two bands right now, and also into recording), writing, etc." That's a long list. How do you make a living? What is your recent work history? Can you try to get the job before you move to New York (fly here to interview, etc.)?

    I would think that finding a good job should be your #1 priority (as well as it should be for your gf).
    Yeah, I've worked as a graphic designer for about 10 years and I have a BSID degree in it, so I have some experience. Not that I'm incompetent or do bad work, but I worry that my portfolio so far wouldn't be impressive enough for employers in a super-competitive market like NYC, what with all the other younger kids fresh out of design school flocking there as well. Another thing is that I've been a print designer, since web design was in its infancy when I was in school, and the jobs I've had have offered little to no opportunity to learn or do web stuff. All this is that's why I want to explore freelancing.

    The music, photography, etc., are all other things that I would like to pursue as alternate or side careers, but probably also as a freelancer. They're all things that I've done informally or as a hobby, but that I'm pretty good at. My main career is in design, though. Hope that clarifies somewhat.

  4. #4
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    First of all, I can't answer all of your questions but I do have one thing to say. Don't expect the same type or level of comfort and conveniences you are accustomed to, once you are here.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by moogyboy
    Not that I'm incompetent or do bad work, but I worry that my portfolio so far wouldn't be impressive enough for employers in a super-competitive market like NYC, what with all the other younger kids fresh out of design school flocking there as well.
    I don't think that market in New York is any different than in other places in the country in a sense that all firms have to compete on the domestic and global markets. I would also assume that there are many different jobs and firms in NYC in this field - some are advanced and have the best designers in the world, and some are not. It's not like all the firms in NYC only hire the best of the best... If that was the case, many people in the city would be without a job. It's not like every NYC worker is brilliant. Instead of guessing, why don't you explore NYC's job market. Have you looked at the job ads on Monster, Hotjobs and NY Times Sunday section? If I were you, I'd first find a job here and move only after I do have a job. Freelancing opportunities is something only a person in your field can comment on - I don't know whether your skills are in demand and how you're going to find clients here.

    I would suggest working on improving your skills and getting a job in NYC. The best possible situation would be lining up several interviews and coming here for a few days just to interview.

    Another way to do it would be stay here in some extended-stay hotel or hostel and look for jobs and freelancing opportunities for 2-3 weeks and see if you can make a living here.

  6. #6
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    You'd have no trouble getting a job in NYC with a print design background, what with a huge part of the publishing business here. You might have to slum in some freelancing or less desireable position to get the NYC experience that will get you someplace interesting, but I don't think you'd have to worry about getting a job.

    antinimby is right that the standard of living is quite a bit different, so by your midwestern standards you'll be living in a small, crappy apartment and everything will seem expensive for a while. NYC doesn't make sense for homebodies. But after you adjust you'll enjoy a lot more entertainment and better food and socializing than you do now.

  7. #7
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    DO IT!!!

    Life passes by way too quick ...

  8. #8

    Default I'm from Oklahoma and I made it!

    Hi there,

    I came to NYC in 2000 and made it. I'm a designer. Getting ready to close on a luxury condo. But it's 2006 and things are a bit different. There's plenty of work in the creative field but you definitely have to be good if you want good money. My nephew is a graphic designer/web artist and is making the bucks. But he's really good. Everybody says to find a job first, but alot of employers don't even want to talk to candidates outside the city--there's so many potentials here, why look elsewhere. My friend is HR for a really good financial firm and she throws out of town resumes away. But, I'm sure not everybody will do that. You gotta stay positive and believe you can make it in this city.....hey I did....I came here with $1000 in my pocket!

    If you want to freelance as a graphic artist---check this agency out:

    www.24seveninc.com

    They will get you working right away!


    Best of luck to ya...

  9. #9
    Incredible Sulk aural iNK's Avatar
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    From my recent experience, moving to NYC hasn't been nearly as hard as people make it out to be. I moved from a small southern town and was able to find a decent job in graphic design within two weeks of living here. I had limited experience and what I consider to be an average portfolio, but I was still able to get my foot in the door. I share a pretty good sized one bedroom apartment in the Upper West Side with my girlfriend whom was able to find a job quite easily. I would just make sure you pay down your debts and have some cash saved up for all of your moving expenses and you shouldn't have any trouble, especially if you live within your means. Good luck!

  10. #10
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    So many of you have made it.
    Now, let's hear from those that didn't.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by moogyboy
    Yeah, I've worked as a graphic designer for about 10 years and I have a BSID degree in it, so I have some experience. Not that I'm incompetent or do bad work, but I worry that my portfolio so far wouldn't be impressive enough for employers in a super-competitive market like NYC,
    Having an unimpressive portfolio CAN work to your advantage.. Some people are refused for jobs because they are overqualified..

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1
    DO IT!!!

    Life passes by way too quick ...
    Ohh man, does it ever...

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrSpice
    Another way to do it would be stay here in some extended-stay hotel or hostel and look for jobs and freelancing opportunities for 2-3 weeks and see if you can make a living here.
    Another possibility is to camp out at her family's house temporarily, if they're all agreeable to it. They live in Roselle Park, near Elizabeth--about a 20 minute train ride to/from Penn Station. Her sister commutes every day to her job in Manhattan so it's not too painful.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by aural iNK
    From my recent experience, moving to NYC hasn't been nearly as hard as people make it out to be. I moved from a small southern town and was able to find a decent job in graphic design within two weeks of living here. I had limited experience and what I consider to be an average portfolio, but I was still able to get my foot in the door. I share a pretty good sized one bedroom apartment in the Upper West Side with my girlfriend whom was able to find a job quite easily. I would just make sure you pay down your debts and have some cash saved up for all of your moving expenses and you shouldn't have any trouble, especially if you live within your means. Good luck!
    Your story there is especially inspiring, INK. Your's too, ktn. :-) I appreciate it.

    My perception is that the design community here in Columbus isn't just very small, but also somewhat tight-knit and cliquish--not many positions, and when there are openings it's hard to get your foot in the door. And all the designers in this town seem to know all the other designers in this town, not to mention all the design profs at Ohio State and CCAD. Maybe that's why I'm so insecure about looking for work. Maybe it's here that's ultra-competitive. For all I know NYC might really be a piece of cake.
    Last edited by moogyboy; June 28th, 2006 at 03:44 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by milleniumcab
    Some people are refused for jobs because they are overqualified..
    You have a specific example of this senario? Sounds like sour grapes to me.

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