How to Move to New York Without a Job

If you’re anything like me then you’ve spent countless hours daydreaming about picking up your life and starting somewhere new. For me this place was New York. But instead of only dreaming, I made a promise to myself that I would dig up my Arizona roots and replant in the Big Apple.

New York has introduced me to new ways of thinking, different cultures, and great people. So, if moving is what you want to do, then you have to make a promise to yourself and commit 100 percent. Be determined and use the doubts that people have in your abilities as fuel for your internal fire. At first, the Universe might push back but don’t worry. The push back is just it shifting its gears and aligning with your new goal.


The first step is to ensure that you have enough money to live on while you’re looking for employment. When I moved to New York I saved three months my expected rent times two. This amount allowed me to feel secure and pay for all of my living expenses, and still have fun in the process.

To help me save money I downloaded the Qapital App. This app changed my life and transformed me into a saving addict. Here’s how it works:

1. Set up a goal and give it a name and cover photo.

2. Choose a rule that you want to apply to that goal

My favorite rule is the “Round Up” rule. This rule allows you to round up your change after you make purchases. For example, if you set your rule to round up to the nearest 5 dollars and spend 3 dollars on a coffee- the difference will be added to your goal.

3. Forget

A key to having success with this app is by just forgetting about it. To save myself from the temptation of transferring money back into bank account I don’t check my app more than once a month. *Out of sight out of mind*


Now, you’re going to think that I’m crazy but if you’re not already a server you should quit your current job and start serving instead. Wait, before you click the back button hear me out. Here is why I think you should quit:

  • You can make what you make in 5 days at a normal job in 3 days serving
  • You will have more time to spend with the people you love, and more time to prepare for your move
  • You will save money on food by either getting 1/2 off OR free meals
  • Once you learn how to serve you can do it anywhere (this will help put your mind at ease when looking for a job)
  • You’ll learn how to take on the spot criticism and work in a fast paced environment (a requirement listed on almost every job posting)

Quitting a current job isn’t an option for everyone. If this is something that you can’t do I recommend getting a “side hustle.” Babysitting, giving lessons at a skill you excel in, or freelancing on the weekends is a great alternative and will help you reach your goal.

Sell all of the clothing that you haven’t worn in over a year at local trade shops, on Craigslist, and on Apps that let you buy and sell used clothing. My personal favorite selling App is OfferUp. Unlike other Apps, OfferUp connects you to local buyers (which saved me a lot of time on shipping) and has a wide variety of categories.


“No matter how much internal resolve you have, you will fail to change your life if you don’t change your environment.” -Benjamin P. Hardy

As someone who lands somewhere in between a serious collector of knick knacks and a hoarder- this was the hardest part for me. Over the years I had kept things that, at the time, meant a lot to me. Take my word, you don’t need these things. And at the end of the day they are just items that keep you tied to your past. Take a second for yourself before you throw out those old ticket stubs from Breaking Dawn 5 years ago- and move on.

Get rid of everything that can be replaced. Dishes, shoes, clothing, and cars all fit into this category. If storage space exists in New York- it is very minimal. You will no longer have enough closet space to house clothing for every season. Pack for the season your moving in. If you’re planning on moving in the beginning of summer only pack for summer, and vice versa.


Gather all of the documents you’re going to need for getting an apartment, update your resume, and get all of the letters of recommendation that you can.

Make sure you have the following documents on hand printed out before you move

  • 3 Months of Previous Bank Statements
  • Identification Card/Driver’s License or Passport
  • Social Security Card
  • Any and all letters of recommendation
  • Up to date credit report (if accessible)

Update your resume. New York is the second largest city in America and has one of the most competitive job markets. You can assume that if you’re applying for a job there’s over a thousand other people applying for that same position. Hiring managers and HR people receive thousands of resumes for any given job opening and they miss, skip or toss a majority of them.

To avoid the resume black hole create 3 different resumes that focus on different key skills and keywords. For me, I created one for each- marketing, digital marketing and serving experience. Then, for each of the resumes you will need to research industry terms and plug them into your resumes where they fit best. Looking back, doing this before I left would have saved me a lot of time and emotional stress.



Use your New York resources. Reach out to a family member or a friend that wouldn’t mind you sleeping on their couch for a week. And if you’re lucky they will help you navigate the city and steer you towards better areas. You should note that the renting process is extremely fast in New York and you can have a place secured within a couple days.

If you don’t have any friends or family that you can use as a resource, move with a week or two left in the month and Airbnb while looking for roommates or a place to sublease. If the term subleasing is unfamiliar to you here is what you need to know. There are several Public Facebook Groups and roommate finding apps that you can join. My personal favorite Facebook group is Gypsy Housing. This group is perfect for anyone in the arts and people are constantly posting new rooms and apartment rentals on it.


“You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.” Jim Carrey

It’s time to take action. Moving anywhere without a job is risky but when it all works out you will be glad that you did it. Your parents and some friends will likely try to convince you that you should take time to save up more money and wait for the perfect time. Don’t listen to them. There will never be a more perfect time than now and there will always be something holding you by the ankle and whispering doubts into your ear. Shake em’ off.