1 year living in Los Angeles....CHECK! Now, I am finally ready to share my story on how I landed my first job in L.A. before I made the big move.
IMPOSSIBLE? NO! CHALLENGING? YES...
Many people (like me) plan to move to Los Angeles to work in the entertainment industry only after they secure a job, but unfortunately this doesn't normally work that way in Hollywood. Landing a job in Los Angeles before you move is more challenging, because it is so competitive with others determined to achieve the same goals. Your resume will probably be ignored just because you don't already live in Los Angeles, because most jobs expect you to start ASAP.
So, straight up just moving to L.A. is what most people do and I thought was my only option after doing thorough research. But, after deciding I was up for the challenge and that I should probably listen to my parents advise that it wasn't smart to go without a job, I found another way.
Wouldn't you feel better if you already had your first job locked down? We millennials want a "different" kind of dream and aren't afraid to go for it. I decided I was truly committed to following my dream and I would make the impossible possible.
So, are you ready to take on the challenge of locking down a job in L.A. WITHOUT actually living there? Well, take it from me when I tell you it's not entirely impossible, despite what we've been told!
My Journey to L.A. wasn't all that easy (even though it looks that way)...but it was completely worth it.
The day I finally stopped waiting around for that "perfect time" to move to LA...everything came together. Follow my steps below on what I did, so you can build your own way to L.A. or your dream city!
*IF YOU ARE NOT ACTUALLY WILLING TO BUY A TICKET TO GO INTERVIEW IN PERSON...THEN YOU SHOULD STOP READING RIGHT NOW! :)
Before the interviews:
1. Make A Plan: I had been constantly adding to my plan for a year to make sure it was going to work. This should include financial planning, transportation, how you and your car will get to LA, desired area's you want to live in, and a potential roommate you might need.
2. Ask A Friend In L.A. To Use Their Address For Applications: Use a friends address that lives in L.A. or at least California for ALL of your resumes. I was applying with my Chicago address or no address and getting ZERO responses. The second I changed it to my friends address, I started getting call backs.
3. Apply For Multiple Jobs At Once With That California Address: Make sure to check yes to living in the area on all of your applications. You need to apply to as many as you can at the same time, so you can set up interviews around the same time.
4. Wait For Call Backs and Follow Up: Try to set up all the interviews for the same day! I planned all three of my top company's I got asked to interview with on the same day. I did this all on a Friday (the day I worked from home at my other job).
5. Buy Your Plane Ticket and Go: I stayed with a friend I knew during my interviews, but you can book an Airbnb pretty easily or a hotel too. You have to be willing to pay for a flight.
During the interviews:
1. You Don't Have To Lie: You don't have to necessarily lie. I HATE lying, I actually have a hard time telling a simple white lie to anyone. I remember calling my mom multiple times while I was in L.A. saying I couldn't do this because I felt bad "lying." If they asked where I lived I said I was staying with a friend for now, because I am new and want to find a job before I decide on what area to move. AND THAT"S ALL! They most likely won't bother you with any other questions about your living situation. The point is you are there in person and ready to WOW them with your personality and skills!
2. Get Yourself To The Interview: Get yourself to the interview on time and make them want you. If you make it so far to the in person interview, your last step is to seal the deal.
3. Go Back Home: Go back to your current job and carry-on as normal, while you wait to hear back from your interviews.
4. Delay The Start Time: Once you get an offer, then try to delay the start time as much as you can. I delayed mine two weeks, so I could put in my two weeks at my old job. You always want to leave a job on good terms. My boss in Chicago even kept me on as a remote employee for another year part-time, which gave the extra income I needed to make a living here. I am also still close friends with those employees.
5. Be Willing To Move Right Away: Follow your plan and know you are ready to go, because it's now or never. I had my last day at my old job on a Friday, moved on Saturday, and started my job Monday. I also lived in one room in an Airbnb with my roommate I had just met for two weeks before we were able to secure our apartment.:)
MY STORY IN SHORT: I used a friends L.A. address to apply for jobs, received call backs, took a flight to do the interviews, went back home, got a two job offers, accepted one, gave my two week notice for my old job, and moved! The next couple of days I packed my car up to be shipped, took my two biggest suitcases, and got on a one-way flight not even knowing exactly where I was living. People thought I was a little bit crazy...but guess what? I knew I could do it and I did it! I figured out everything else along the way and it all worked out.
I may not have landed a job in my dream industry right away, but it was the perfect step in the right direction to prepare me to land my next job. In just nine months after moving, I secured a new position. I currently work in Talent Publicity at an award winning PR firm, handling high-profile clients on a daily basis.
This post has already been lengthy, so if you have any questions about anything I discussed feel free to leave a comment or email me. I would be happy to go more in depth about what I did and offer more advice to help you :)
Alright, there you have it. That is my true story on landing a job across the country before I moved. All it takes is a little ambition and hard work. I did and so can you. Stop waiting around and do it! You'll make it happen. Everything that is meant to be ends up coming together eventually.
Do you have a similar story on how you made your dream happen? Share with me in the comments below!