My trip to LA was only supposed to last just over a week… Get into my Moving Journal posts to read more about how my vacation turned into a permanent move, and to learn about the setbacks and successes I encounter during my transition from DC to LA.
Settling into my new position at LCC took me no time at all.
Assisting two departments, I spent alternating mornings completing work for one, after which I’d take lunch and return for the afternoon completely switching roles and working for the other department.
My goal was to perform well and to be hired by the luxury brand as a permanent employee, so I put all of my efforts into effectively and efficiently completing my responsibilities, which started off at a light and manageable rate.
Meanwhile on the home front, Raven had returned to LA and the apartment, bringing its resident count up to four. It was nothing but a blessing that Tamika, and even Mo and Raven, who aren’t the ones I’ve been friends with since kindergarten, had no problem lending their generosity with their apartment even after Raven’s return. They never implied a sense of urgency for me to move, so I didn’t feel as stressed looking for an apartment as I did looking for a job.
However, aside from wanting to cut down my hour and a half (or more in the evenings) commute from downtown LA to Brentwood, I was starting to realize my need for having my own space to unpack and settle in. I now had a reliable income (yay!), and a means to attain a space to do so. I was also able to switch gears and refocus my energy from job-searching to apartment-searching.
Having a friend or family member to stay with initially when you move is extremely beneficial.
It allows you time to feel out the area, apply for local jobs and be available for interviews, and meet with potential roommates/landlords/realtors to scope out potential housing options person. All of said reasons are equally important in my opinion, and my #MakingLAMine journey wouldn’t have begun so soon if I weren’t able to do so.
If you do know someone living in the city where you want to move, make sure you are able to offer something if you’re going to ask them for a temporary place to stay, or even if they offer without you asking. Save up enough to be able to contribute towards rent or groceries, and/or be willing to lend a hand with cleaning and cooking. Try not to overstay your welcome, and most of all, respect their space! Even if it’s a childhood friend, treat their home better than your own. You never want to make someone feel as though they made the wrong decision by generously sharing their place.
With that being said, I’ve seen that many people are eager to host and help out -- everyone needs assistance with something at some point. If you go this route, provide pleasant company, show that you are actively searching for a job/place to live, and always be appreciative.*
I could have given myself a longer amount of time to consider living options, but I felt a bit uncomfortable having everything I owned in California being awkwardly pushed to the side in this apartment, in an attempt to keep it out of the way. I was primarily living out my suitcase, also using part of Tamika’s closet and bit of the joined closet space in their great room. My items lacked any type designated organization -- I really wanted a closet to hang my clothes in and space to spread out my shoes, all in a room of my own.
Luckily our morning schedules didn’t coincide too much, but with three of us using one bathroom, I had to be conscience not to take too much time getting ready in the morning.I have this conflicting struggle between the facts that I like to both sleep as late as possible and take my time when going about my morning routine. Music, long showers, ironing, putting on this outfit, switching to that outfit… yeah, allat, typical girl. But, I knew I had to be mindful of the roommates, which meant spending minimum time in the shower (and luckily, maximum time catching zzz’s).
Coming and going without my own key to the very secure building got a bit inconvenient a couple of times since I relied on the roomies to get in. Nonetheless, it was a laid back living situation, and none of my inconsequential discomfort came on behalf of my lovely ladies. I’d be sad to leave behind the amenity-rich apartment complex, but I was eager to spread my wings and make my LA move official official. First it was the job, next all I needed was the apartment to make it all set in stone.
There are TONS of roommate and apartment finding resources out there, and I’ll be the first to attest how intimidating it can be trying to figure out, all on you own, where you will live in a huge city.
I started simply, and took my talents to good ol’ (yet sometimes sketchy, yes) Craigslist. I had also downloaded the ‘Roommates’ phone app, which I found super simple, and even interesting, to use. Here’s a breakdown on how it works, and why it’s a great:
Roommates allows you to make a basic profile, including a few photos, your employer, the school/university you attended (which can all be pulled from signing in with your Facebook), plus your monthly budget, your neighborhood preferences, and your likes/hobbies/interests. Once you fill in all your info, you’re ready for browsing! The app will then show you other profiles one by one -- if the person displayed looks like they are worth meeting, and has a similar profile to yours, you click the green checkmark. If not, you can click the red X and keep it moving.
“You’ve got a match!” Now what? This means that someone you identified as a potential roomie has identified you as one, too -- whoop, whoop! Now, don’t just leave them sitting in your notifications, shoot them a message. Introduce yourself, ask when they are planning to move, and what brings them to the city. Should conversation flourish, you can then exchange numbers and/or emails, and eventually set up a meeting date at your local Qdoba, or wherever’s convenient.
Roommates can not only help you find someone to live with, but it can also help you meet a friend or two!
I matched with a girl whose profile showed I had a few mutual FB friends from her college with, and even though we didn’t end up rooming together, we still linked up and became new friends. We are both new to LA from the East Coast, so it was nice to benefit from the app in another way and meet someone with commonalities.
Stay tuned for my next post on finding two amazing potential places, one via Roommates and one via Craigslist, and how I decided between the two for the final choice that I call home today!