It’s another bustling evening in London. The clouds are finally giving into the summer sun and the city is starting to fill up with tourists, students coming home and Londoners prepping for the good weather. As some of you may know I have picked up and moved to England for a year to experience working abroad. However, right now what I’m working on is finding an apartment.
In a city like London — with people constantly coming and going — finding a place to call home can be difficult. Looking for a home is a mix of excitement about the change ahead and the annoyance about arranging viewings, going to them and finally packing up everything to make the move.
I have also found it can be strangely similar to the job search with the same bittersweet after-taste. The process for both is practically the same — scanning newspapers, researching online, and telling friends that you’re on the hunt.
Apartment hunting — or flat hunting as they call it here — takes just as much dedication and intent as job hunting. Knowing exactly what I’m looking for helps me narrow my options and identify good opportunities.
So every evening I book a few viewings and visit them and through these viewings I have discovered unusual aspects about myself. While I don’t need much, I do have non-negotiables I can’t live without such as cleanliness, privacy, and Internet access.
I have realized that also identifying my non-negotiables in my career helps me identify what kind of a job I want and gives me control over the job hunt instead of randomly throwing my resumé out there in hopes that it catches someone’s attention.
Things like long commutes and inflexible schedules may be your deal breaker and therefore gives you a base from which to direct questions during a job interview, I have found.
Being in London, so far away from friends and family, I have learned how to truly depend on myself and my opinions. Because I have no one here to run ideas past or get advice from in such unfamiliar territory, I instead completely relying on myself to make the right choices.
When you’re in your 20s nothing seems permanent — your home, your job, your relationships are all in a constant state of flux. The beauty of the blur is exciting. We’re just not sure what can come next and not knowing makes it much more interesting.
I’ve learned a lot since moving here but during this most recent past I’ve learned that you can’t really find what you’re looking for until you can identify it. When I first got here it wasn’t as exciting and hassle-free as I had hoped.
I was unsure of exactly what I wanted, or if I even wanted to stay. What I’ve learned is every challenge is met with a choice and the choice is always yours.