How-To: Move to New York

November 29, 2010 § 13 Comments

Disclaimer: Nothing is ever guaranteed.

Recently, a friend of mine bought her one way ticket from RDU to JFK. She has been planning to move to NYC for years, so naturally she is super excited! But, of course moving here is a big change, so she is still a little nervous. to ease her nerves, she decided to ask me what exactly so expect upon the big move. She is in the same boat I was a few months ago, no job or apartment waiting for her when she gets here, just a plane ticket and some baggage.

After I wrote her with my advice, I thought it may be useful to other people as well. After all, I have done pretty well with my move. So, let us start with the beginning.

The most important thing when considering moving to the big city is whether you are a good fit. Evaluate why you really want to move here. Make sure to visit with people who live in the city so you can get a good idea of how life works as a New Yorker. Read Penelope Trunk’s blog post about the types of people who really belong in the city. Recognize that the city is straight bi-polar: she will give you the most amazingly mind-blowing days of your life, but the next day could have you facing a zombie apocalypse (this could get literal if you believe FourSquare). Once you decide that New York is a place that you want to live and that you’ll be happy here, you just have to do it.

Go ahead, but your ticket. Choose a day and just go for it. Once you’ve made the purchase you have no excuses. No more “I’m saving up money” or “I don’t have a job”. (Granted, both of these things would be extremely helpful). From here I can give you the email I sent my friend:

“How it’s going to work: you’re going to come to NYC but you’re not going to legit MOVE here.  Really, you are coming up for 2-3 months to figure out if you can stay. You will bring only what you can carry.

You’re going to have to stay on someone’s couch for a few days to a few weeks. Try and spread this out as much as possible and be respectful of your friend’s space. Remember that New York apartments are unreasonably small and expensive.

You will find a sublet (on Craigslist most likely). There is a large chance that they will want to meet you before you move in, so you cannot do this step remotely (but you can do some ‘pre-shopping’). The sublet will also most likely want some financial information to prove that you’re not a bum. Apartments in NYC move REALLY fast, so just be aware of that when you’re looking around. I found my sublet on Craigslist 20 minutes after they posted it and moved in 2 weeks later. My roommates and I found our apartment before it even went on the market, before our realtor had even seen it!

How much money you’re going to bring depends on you, but if you have the cash it would be good to have $2000 for every month that you are not going to have any income. After two months, if you do not have income and don’t have the job you want, you’re going to have to do the Starbucks, waitressing or bartending thing.

When you are definitely staying and ready to sign a lease: You will need a roommate (unless you are straight rolling in it) and you can find one on Craigslist, or through other people. This step literally cannot be done without regular income. Most apartments in Manhattan require prospective tenants to prove that they make 40x whatever the monthly rent is. I think it’s a little more lax in Brooklyn. Either way, you must have good credit and a legit job. Finding an apt here is HARD, so give yourself 3-4 weeks to find a place. We lucked out and found one in a week that hadn’t gone on the market yet. Just like with a job, tell EVERYONE you are looking for a place/roommate. Your best bet is to find someone who already has a place and is looking for a roommate, but be careful because they could also be crazy.”

With that said, I am no expert, I am just relating my experiences. And remember that this is your adventure! No one can tell you how to live your life, you really need to do this on your own. Have no fear and really embrace the city. It’s all about rolling with the punches and viewing everyday as a Grand Adventure!

Welcome to New York!

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I’m Pretty Sure this is the Matrix

November 2, 2010 § 3 Comments

“Is this real life?”

That is the question I have been asking myself almost constantly for 2 weeks. Most people don’t know the whole story so, lets do a quick review:

I moved to New York City at the end of August (2 months ago) and stayed on friend’s, and stranger’s, couches (thanks Lee and Melissa!), until I found a “stable” sublet for a month. In those short two months I’ve managed to be the subject of a story in the New York Post, find an amazing apartment in an amazing location for an amazing price and land my dream job! To say I’m merely thriving in the city may be a slight understatement.

The best part of the story is the Dream Job. Most people have read the article about my sister and me in the New York Post and know how I got my job at Glenmark Realty. Most people don’t know that the same day the article came out I accepted an offer for my Dream Job and gave Mr. Gomez my two-weeks notice. Now comes the announcement part of this post:

Come November 8th, I will be the newest addition to the Carrot Creative team. I will be joining up as Executive Assistant and all around go-to-girl for Mike Germano and the rest of the Carrot Crew.

YAY!

How did this come about? Fantastic question. Two words: Awesomeness and Persistence. (and I am totally serious.)

I have no idea how I first heard of Carrot Creative but I’ve known they were the company I wanted to work for a long time. Around March, they started taking applications from everyone without specific positions in mind and I jumped at the chance, wrote my haiku, drew my angry carrots, and arranged some words (the application is fun, you should try it out!) I was still in my senior year at Carolina so I wasn’t a great fit, but I did manage to get on the Carrot blog! I stayed in touch and made sure to interact with the crew on Twitter, which wasn’t a chore since they are all so interesting.

Fast forward seven months and we’re about caught up, which tells you how fast this all happened. I had my job at Glenmark and was looking for a second job. Then Mike announced via twitter that he was looking for a right hand (wo)man. I quickly contacted him and after a series of tweets and emails, I had an interview at Carrot! In keeping with their company mojo, my first interview was at Starbucks where I answered questions with “no, no tattoos, sorry!” and “I’m ashamed to admit, no I have never been arrested.” I also was able to ask questions such as “what exactly is this job I’m interviewing for?” (this is still in the works…). Obviously, it was an enjoyable conversation with Mike and Chris! Over the next 2 weeks, I had pleasant and reassuring meetings with Kaitlin and Bobby. I was promised an answer before The Boys went off to Ireland, but was left hanging for an extra week. I saw more carrot themed items that week than ever in my life. Though I was trying to keep myself level-headed, my mind was pretty obsessed.

As a last ditch effort and a way to get things off my chest, I opened this blog with my Carrot post and hoped it would display my impressive skills in the writing department. I guess I was successful because the day of the New York Post article, Mike Germano commented on my blog with an offer of employment at Carrot Creative.

The.Best.Day.Ever.

As for the real “why” behind their decision to hire me, you’ll have to ask The Boys. I’ve only heard rumors, but they seem to be centered around my “fucking awesomeness”. I think I’ll fit in fine on the Orange Couch.

Creating a Carrot Kind of World

October 19, 2010 § 12 Comments

I’m in the middle of something amazing right now.

If you asked me a few months ago if I thought this was a possibility, I would obviously say no since I didn’t think I would even be in the City. But the point is, I have a chance at a dream right now.

A few weeks ago, Mike Germano of Carrot Creative tweeted that he was looking for an executive assistant (or in his words, a right hand (wo)man to help take over the world). My initial thought was “Pinky and the Brain!” And “Me! Me!” So I replied asking for directions, which he was not planning to give out. Thankfully I’m a memorable person (I guess) and he direct messaged me asking for my resume the day before I was going to email him (a common theme later on). I sent it off with a little note and a picture of Pinky and the Brain. A week later, right before I’m about to email him, he asks me for a meeting. I believe my heart stopped for a second or two. We set up a time and I got to actually go to the Carrot Creative headquarters, I got to see the orange couch, I got to meet the Carrots!

We sat in Starbucks with Chris Petescia and chatted for an hour and a half. It was seriously the most interesting interview/conversation I’ve had. We talked about everything, including religious background, arrest records, personality traits, and, of course, an outline of a job description that has yet to be written.

Why would someone want to apply for a job that has only been described in 140 characters or less? Well, that is the exact reason I wanted to apply for the position. I like the idea of being everywhere and doing everything. I never want to be sitting and not thinking, creating, solving. If I don’t have a job description then that means I have no borders, nothing that falls outside of my responsibilities.  I like helping, being auxiliary forces. Some people are leaders, I’m a coaxer. I get results from people by helping them realize what they want out of life, or the situation at hand. So, to me, an executive assistant position isn’t just a “stepping stone” to something greater, but something I really enjoy doing. It is already that “something greater”.

So, why Carrot Creative? When Mike asked me this in the interview/conversation over coffee I gave a really lame answer. Something similar to “ya’ll are cool.” And while this sounds really lame (that’s two “lames” now), it’s the truth. Work environment is extremely important to me. As Mike said, we spend a third of our lives at work, why should we be miserable? I have always viewed work to be somewhat of an extension of who I am, not a place to make money. I want a job that makes the money aspect just a benefit of being there. After meeting with a few Carrots and discussing their company view, I’ve developed a more eloquent explanation of my desire to work with them. Carrot Creative is doing something I thought was impossible. I have worked with enough non-profit organizations to “know” that changing the status quo is impossible. The Man is in charge 100% and you better fit into his mold or get out of the way. Carrot Creative is different. They are able to fit into the mainstream and change the-way-things-are to the-way-things-should-be from the inside. And, they do it so seamlessly that no one notices. They are changing the way companies interact with their consumers, making businesses more accessible and adaptable to their customer’s real desires and needs. Their work makes me hate capitalism just a little less. Or, at least gives me hope that we can eventually have a benevolent capitalist economy.

So, as I said, I’m in the middle of this whole thing. I’ve met with 4 Carrots, and am waiting to hear if I’m The One or if I’ll be passed over for someone more experienced in Social Media (even if it had little to do with the position). I’m confident I’m the right person for the job, but not confident that I have done a sufficient job convincing them of that fact. We’ll find out next Monday. In the mean time, I keep seeing killer tweets like “Excited about our latest staff addition to @carrotcreative! Announce next week :D” – @chrispetescia and “Great News! We just added another amazing talent to our team. More info next Monday. Our team gets better everyday :)” – @carrotcreative

–Wish me luck! 🙂

Until Next Monday,

Rianna Rose

Hello world!

September 5, 2010 § Leave a comment

Yes, I kept WordPress’ title..I like it. It’s exactly what I wanted to say, and why mess with a good thing?

I feel that my first post should be about why I finally started a blog of my own. I’m a pretty private person for the most part, but the other day the New York Post contacted me to do a story about…me. So, I figured that while I’m at it, might as well go all out.

Since moving to NYC some amazing things have happened to me. I’ve always had an interesting life, but being in the City has really raised the bar.

In the 6 weeks I’ve lived here I’ve changed in a room with 12 other naked women, run into college classmates in SoHo, lived in 5 different neighborhoods in 3 different boroughs, seen the sunrise over Times Square (not from waking up), interviewed for positions at BOTH of my dream organizations (Carrot Creative and Big Duck), run twice as far as ever before (8 miles) and been interviewed for an article about myself (and my sister) for the New York Post. Did I mention I moved here with 2 carry on bags and a one way ticket to JFK? Honestly, the thing I’m most proud of is that I’ve managed to give people directions…my worst nightmare. But here, I’m in control. I am knowledgeable and I know what’s up.

When I write it all down…I’m pretty impressed with myself. And that is why I decided I needed to start doing just that. This is a reminder of my amazing life that could never happen if I wasn’t open and accepting of every experience offered.

–For my second post I wanted to pay my respects to an organization that was an inspiration to get me off my ass and create something. That something was a blog,  a small step of self-exploration that will never cease. Thanks Carrots.