If you are creative, and if you are hoping to make a career out of your creativity, there are only two place you can hope to find success: New York and Los Angeles. Since New York real estate prices are out of control — and more importantly, since the L.A. weather can’t be beat — you are packing your bags and heading for the Best Coast.
However, breaking into the creative scene in Los Angeles isn’t as easy as hopping on a flight and setting up your easel on Venice Beach. You need to plan every step of your journey to ensure a smooth transition and swift success. Here’s a simple and straightforward guide to get you started in L.A., so you can be the creative professional you’ve always dreamed of becoming.
Step 1: Save
As romantic as it might seem to drop everything and get on a plane to L.A. without looking back, the truth is you won’t last a single day in this city without money. What’s more, you won’t last a week without a well-paying job or else a brimming savings account. Since you are committed to being a creative, unless you already have a paid position lined up in the City of Angels, you should probably be saving up for your move starting yesterday.
Because moving itself isn’t cheap — the average costs for relocating across state lines is about $4,300, which includes hiring movers, traveling, finding a place to live and more — you should try to put all money you can into your savings account. Once you are in L.A., you’ll need to pay for gas (because L.A. isn’t a pedestrian-friendly city), food, bills, furniture and more. It’s a good idea to save up at least $5,000 in addition to any moving-related expenses, so you have a good cushion of cash to land on after your move.
Step 2: Move
There’s no question: You should hire movers to help you relocate. The reasons for this are myriad.
First, moving yourself isn’t all that much cheaper, especially when you are moving from across the country. You’ll have to rent a truck (which comes with additional costs like insurance and gas); you’ll have to buy moving supplies (boxes and void fill as well as tie-downs, tarps, blankets, etc.) and devote days to packing your current residence into your truck; you’ll pay for lodgings along your route, food and more.
Next, you simply don’t have the expertise to move efficiently. You don’t know how to pack boxes to reduce waste and ensure safety, and you don’t know how to drive a moving truck across the country —let alone through the busy L.A. streets. You might think moving doesn’t require much skill, but you’re wrong. Los Angeles moving companies have much more experience with moving, so they can keep your belongings safe and reduce the time and anxiety of moving.
Step 3: Work
You are a creative, so you might think that we mean start producing your creative works — but that’s not entirely accurate. Instead, you need to find a job that pays the bills while giving you the time and mental energy to devote to your craft. This is much easier said than done.
Finding a job in L.A. isn’t difficult; it’s a big city with plenty of opportunity. However, finding a well-paying job doing something you enjoy is almost too much to ask for. For your first job in Los Angeles, you shouldn’t be too picky. As long as it pays enough to keep you afloat, you should be fine. You can see where your creative endeavors take you, and you can advance your non-creative career and make connections with people who might be able to help you find your dream job. Try to avoid allowing your soul to be crushed, and you’ll eventually find a way to incorporate your creative craft into your work. Success is a long and winding road, but you’ll never reach your destination if you can’t buy food or pay rent, so paying work is more important than you might think.
Step 4: Sleep
It’s easy to neglect your basic human necessities when you live in L.A. While NYC is branded as the City That Never Sleeps, Los Angelenos also rarely devote much time to shut-eye because they are so caught up chasing their waking dreams. While your fate is totally in your hands, you should avoid succumbing to the temptation to skip meals, skip sleep and generally skip your health and well-being for the sake of your creative career. Nothing is worth ill-health —even a move to Los Angeles.