Makin' Moves and Your Mark: The Advice Column by Dear Diary

Updated: May 17

Thinking about making the big move to a new city but worried about the outcome? This week's Advice Column by Dear Diary comes from a post-grad who tells us all how she moved to a new city without a job and found success.

As the new year quickly approaches (thank god), a lot of us are starting to question, what now? The first step for a lot of post-grads, especially with the promising advancements of the COVID vaccine, will be to move to a new city. But, what do you do if you want to move to a new city without having a job first? It might sound impossible, but @shergen did it, found a job AND is now thriving. So, what better way to close out the Advice Column by Dear Diary for 2020 than with this Queen of Empowerment?


DD: Introduce yourself, what you studied in college, and what you do now for our Dear Diary readers.


SG:My name is Sheryl-Leigh General, but everyone calls me Sher. I just graduated from the College of Charleston in May (from my couch lol) with a double major in Communication and Spanish and a minor in Linguistics. I’m from the shoreline of Connecticut and recently moved to right outside of Washington, D.C. where I’m working as the Executive Assistant of a full-service firm that does lobbying, marketing, public affairs, etc.”

DD: What was your post-grad experience like this past spring/summer?


As the new year quickly approaches (thank god), a lot of us are starting to question, what now? The first step for a lot of post-grads, especially with the promising advancements of the COVID vaccine, will be to move to a new city. But, what do you do if you want to move to a new city without having a job first? It might sound impossible, but @shergen did it, found a job, AND is now thriving. So, what better way to close out the Advice Column by Dear Diary for 2020 than with this Queen of Empowerment? search' weighed very heavily on me. I felt ahead of the game because I had started applying for jobs in December, but between December and the following September, I had probably applied to over 400 jobs. Not kidding. I was applying to jobs all day every day, networking with whoever I could, and feeling so drained. It was so exhausting to motivate myself to do the same routine every day for 6+ months. I was also supposed to be traveling for the entire summer after graduation, so being in my childhood home with no promise of landing a job was uhhhh...daunting. I’m so glad I stuck it out, but it definitely was the most trying time.”


DD: When did you decide you wanted to move without having a job first?


SG:So, I adore Charleston and miss it so much, but I knew I wanted a bigger city (either Boston, D.C., or Philly). I basically decided on D.C. for the geographic 'middle ground' of CHS and CT, and then went from there as far as finding a job. This is definitely untraditional, but I felt like picking the city first made me more driven to land a job.


DD: What was your biggest fear about moving to a new city without a job?


SG:I would say ending up back in my hometown after failing (to) find a job. My promise to myself (and my angel of a mother) was that I would have a job by January 2021, and I got my job just a month after moving in October 2020. I didn’t want to fail, but if I’m being honest, I didn’t think I would. I’ve always been ambitious and (been) a hard worker so I knew that no matter what, I would make do. I even applied to a job at a local Trader Joe’s in case my full-time applications didn’t work out.


DD: What is your best advice for post-grads who want to make a move that they are nervous about?


SG:I honestly really liked my method of picking a city before starting the job search. It makes you excited to find an apartment, visualize your post-grad life, and feel like you’re making progress. I am so lucky to adore my apartment and my roommate who happens to be my childhood best friend (hi, em)! My advice would be to start the job search early, network and talk to whoever you can, and just trust that everything will work out. I don’t say that in a cliché way because obviously everything will NOT work out if you don’t grind to get what you want, but as long as you're doing something productive towards your goals every day, you’ll be golden.


DD: What’s your favorite book that has given you the best advice during this year?


SG:I read so much at the beginning of quarantine. 25 and Self-ish, The Defining Decade and Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Personal development is everything so, I’ve always been obsessed with self-help books. And for the lover girls who could use some dating advice, I Had a Nice Time and Other Lies by The Betches, is a must.


DD: What is your best advice about putting yourself and your career first?


SG:Just that! Put yourself first always. You can’t help others until you help yourself. So many people offered me informational interviews and connections and for that, I am so incredibly grateful. Now, I say all the time that I will help out anyone else who finds themselves in an unforgiving job market. So, I guess the advice would be (to) put yourself first, utilize your resources, and then pay it forward.


DD: Now for our final question of each interview, what now?


SG:My job now is pretty out of my comfort zone. I’m grateful to be working in a field that is uncharted territory for me and learn so much every day. I think this job is a great opportunity for my first few years in D.C., and then I hope to get back to what I love, which is creating meaningful experiences for people through incredibly produced events. For now, I am very happy with where I’m at and am excited for what’s to come!


XO