Los Angeles is a unique city. The environment, pace of life, and breed of people are unlike any other city in the US. If you’re considering moving to this land of dreams, a real-live experience is the only way to figure out if LA is the right fit for you, and the only way to solidify networking contacts.
As I get older, personal happiness has become increasingly important. It’s one of those things that you may not even think about, but it can also shake your world if you completely ignore it. When you’re unhappy, it can affect every aspect of your life in a negative way, from your career to your social life, to your home life. If you want to be successful, you need to be aware of your personal state, and direct the pieces that are in your control.
Your environment can really play a huge part in your happiness. It may sound silly, but I’ve found that your state, city, and even your home can greatly effect your life. Therefore, it is so important to visit LA before you move, especially if you have never been here before. You need the chance to experience the neighborhoods, the weather, the way of life, to help you decipher how you’ll fit. For example, many people move to LA because of the beautiful weather. However, if you’re a snow bunny, and love the cold winter months, chances are you will be unhappy with our relatively steady warmth year-round.
Visit LA. Drive around. Put your feet in the Pacific Ocean. Take a deep breath and imagine yourself living in the environment. Figure out if you could be happy here. Because the happier you are, the better chance you will have at finding success. A positive attitude and well-being open your mind to new ideas, help you meet and reach out to potential employers, and in turn bring more opportunities your way. When I’m unhappy, all opportunities come to a halt, and I get stuck. All of my big jobs have come when I was happy and open. So, ask yourself: can I be happy in LA? Even if the answer ends up being ‘no’, you’ll be one step closer to finding your own happiness and success by avoiding a potentially unhappy environment. But don’t worry, I think LA has something for everyone.
LA has become known for being more laid back than most cities. While this may be true, it is still one of the fastest moving cities when it comes to finding success. The competition is fierce—there are countless people all trying to achieve the same goals. If you’re late, there are 50 people lined up waiting to snag your spot.
Connecting with potential mentors and employers via the internet and phone before you move to LA is a brilliant idea. Utilize social media to its fullest to contact people who do what you want to do, or who may be able to point you in a direction. Then you need to get in their face. A personal connection is always stronger than a virtual one. My most recent job was offered to me as part-time, working form home. That’s how the designer before me chose to work. I politely requested to work in the production office, as I prefer to do. Within the next few weeks, my hours were upped and I eventually became full time. The personal connection made a huge difference. I could have worked in my pajamas by myself, with Friends on the TV in the background, never meeting my bosses. But I chose the personal connection, and in turn, landed a job.
It’s hard to cultivate meaningful relationships when you’re not actually in Los Angeles. Visit LA and shake some hands. Take possible mentors out for coffee, drop by for a “hello”, or schedule a meeting. It will take your connections much further than from behind a computer. If you skip this step, someone else will snatch up your mentors. These networking connections are also more likely to help you if you prove that you’re serious. Most will not offer you a job when you don’t live here. Prove that this is really what you want by making the visit. It’s what worked for me, and really put me ahead. Even though I came to Los Angeles without a job lined up, I landed one within my first few weeks because I met with people before my official move.
Making it in LA is all about working hard. So put in the work, and you will start lapping the lazy wannabes. Plan to visit LA before you make the move. It will do wonders for your success and give you a head start before the others. And while you’re here, shoot me an email! I would love to hear how you’re doing and offer any insight.