When I told my friends and family that I was moving to Los Angeles after my entire life had been spent in Pittsburgh, every one of them tried to scare me into changing my mind. They said that I’d spend hours every day stuck in traffic, that I’d get shot at a bus stop, that I’d never find a job, or that my apartment rent would suck my bank account dry until I had to live in a box under the Santa Monica Pier.
But I left the ‘Burgh anyway and since I arrived in LA six months ago, none of this (thankfully) has been my fate. I owe my thus-far survival in Los Angeles to 6 things that I’ve learned are must-haves in this city:
I had none of this when I arrived in California, and I swear it would have been the downfall of me if I didn’t figure out how necessary it is in this place. Patience in LA will save you from countless car accidents on the 405, losing your mind in bumper-to-bumper traffic, and getting angry with your local friends who run their lives on LA time (which, by the way, is always 20 to 30 minutes behind whatever time is on your watch).
There are 10 million people in Los Angeles County, many of them with more money than you, more connections than you and more experience than you. So how will you set yourself apart from them? Confidence. Putting yourself out there at an interview, social event or workshop in this over-populated city will be successful if you walk in with your shoulders back, a smile on your face and an attitude that displays that you are confident in who you are and what you have to offer Los Angeles.
Determination is what is going to get you back on your feet when you don’t achieve your hopes and dreams right away. It will take dozens of failures to reach your first success. Out of all the people in Los Angeles that give up on what they want because they don’t get it the first time, you’ll instantly be more successful than them if you continue to go after what you want and stop at nothing until you achieve it.
4. Common Sense
It blows my mind how many people I see in Los Angeles who have no common sense. They are the morons who get scammed because they fall for a work-at-home post claiming they’ll make $5,000 a week taking surveys, or punched because they yell at someone who pushed past them on the sidewalk on the way home from the bar. So, for goodness sake, think before you act! If something is too good to be true or doesn’t seem to be the smartest action at the time, let your common sense tell you to just walk away and forget about it.
You will definitely need a little creativity and resourcefulness to keep your finances stable when you first move to Los Angeles. Creativity will help tremendously while you’re looking for a full-time job by thinking of ways to use your talents to earn extra income. Resourcefulness will help you avoid totally breaking the bank every time you want to go out or need to buy groceries. The reality is that with a little bit of these two pulled together, you don’t need to earn or spend a ton of money to enjoy living in Los Angeles.
If you move to Los Angeles with none of the above qualities, you must at the very least have acceptance. Accept that people are different from you, you never know what you may learn from them. Accept that things aren’t going to be perfect right away, it will save you a lot of stress trying to get it right on the first try. Most of all, accept that it will take a little time and effort to get settled into the groove of Los Angeles. Before you know it, LA will be your new home sweet home.