The staff of Career & Leadership Development helps UW-Whitewater students and alumni with all aspects of their job search, including talking about where a graduate wishes to live for their first destination after college. As a place to live, Wisconsin is the clear first choice for UW-Whitewater graduates (approximately 87%), and our graduates contribute significantly to our state economy and our communities. This isn’t surprising – Wisconsin is a wonderful place to live.
If you’ve spent your whole life living in one place, it may be scary to contemplate moving to another part of the state or country. Fear of the unknown may mean that some of us stay where we’re most comfortable, and limit our life choices as a result.
I find it fascinating to talk with our international students – all have taken a leap of faith to experience life in the United States and our campus community. I’m also intrigued by the stories our students share about their study abroad experiences. They are often life changing. Decisions about our career are ultimately decisions about our lives, and where we want or need to live is an important aspect of our development as professionals.
I’d like to provide you with some things to consider while contemplating the location of your first job. I talked with one of my colleagues, Melissa Grosso, Leadership Advisor in Career & Leadership Development. Melissa has experienced several significant moves in her life, and I trust her opinion and advice on the matter of relocating. Here are Melissa’s top three tips for those of you thinking about making a move to an unfamiliar place after graduation:
- Some graduates follow the job to the place, others pick the place and then find a job. If you prefer the latter (picking the place first), then know what you want, and research the region and communities to see which best align with your needs. I’m not a big city person. I like visiting, I just don’t want to live there. Knowing this, I may not be happy moving to New York City. Population, region of the country, climate, and culture all may have an impact on your happiness. Make sure you know what you want.
- If possible, make a visit to check out the area. This allows you to gain a fairly good feel of the place – much like choosing a college. Most of us have experienced the move to college, and what we see on paper and what we feel when we’re on campus may vary.
- Don’t get stuck on the details. There are many things to consider when making a move, lots of logistical tasks to manage and sort through. It can seem overwhelming to focus on all of these details early in the process. Rather, focus on the big picture and let things fall into place as you progress through the move.
Make sure to visit with a staff member in Career & Leadership Development for all of your career needs. We have various tools to help you identify job openings in various locations, and are willing to listen and help you sort through your options.
Photo by Jennine Jacob.