Living in a big city comes with both perks and downsides. You will find some of the hippest bars, pubs and cafes to spend time at, as well as exciting expos and conferences in your industry on offer in many of the bigger cities in South Africa. However, city living comes with noise, crime and other elements that may be unpleasant.
If you are considering working in a big city, you will find many jobs in the Western Cape offer unique opportunities for those looking for a change in their lives. Below is some handy advice on how to handle life as a working professional in a big city.
Invest in a map or a directions app
One important thing to do when you move into a big city is to get to know the area (or areas) you live and work in. This means that you will need a map to show you the best routes to and from work so you arrive on time for the working day.
Many Western Cape government departments vacancies are in the city centre, which means that if you live further out you will need accurate and helpful directions to get to and from work. Investing in an app can help immensely with this situation. Luckily, the public transport in many big cities is reliable, and you can use the buses or trains to get from home to work easily. On weekends, you might feel like travelling to a unique attraction and if you have access to a car, a map can be very helpful.
Use your network
If you are new to a big city, having taken one of the many Western Cape vacancies and moved from a small town, it can be scary not knowing anyone for the first few weeks. This is where your network of friends back home and your new work colleagues can come in handy.
Call your friends or family members in your hometown and ask if they know anyone living in your area that you can meet up with and get to know as an ally in the big, bustling city. Ask your work colleagues for coffee after work or over the weekend if there is someone who you have ‘clicked’ with. As a working professional, it is important to maintain your network even if you are no longer living in your hometown. Look for clubs or activities that you can attend to help you meet more like-minded people to add to your business and personal network.
Learn to budget your money
Many jobs in the Western Cape and other big cities come with higher salaries than their small town counterparts. While this is great for your new living situation, it can also mean that you are tempted to spend more than you really can afford.
You will need to learn to budget your money, especially if you enjoy attending social events with friends. This can be done by carefully dividing your spending into categories such as ‘fixed costs’, ‘investments’, ‘savings’ and ‘spending money’. Your fixed costs and savings should take up the bulk of your expenditure, whereas the ‘spending money’ should take up a much smaller portion. Being able to budget will teach you self-control and will help to make your big city life easier and less debt-inducing.
Try saying ‘yes’ more
Often we default to saying ‘no’ to invitations out to dinner, drinks or other events in a new city because we fear that we won’t know anyone there and the situation will go from ‘slightly awkward’ to ‘never see these people again ever awkward’. Saying yes to invitations will increase your social circle as well as make you feel more comfortable in your new big city home.
By saying yes to more invitations, you may also be able to improve your business network and being positive will be taken note of by your superiors. Working professionals should always go into situations with a positive attitude, as this will help to increase your potential and other career opportunities offered by the jobs in the Western Cape and other big cities. You never know where saying ‘yes’ to someone or something can lead in an exciting city.
Discover the new you
Working and living in a big city as a young, working professional can help you to discover a ‘new you’, one that is adventurous and willing to take on new challenges. To survive in a big city, ensure that you have a reliable map app or paper map to begin with.
Once you have found your favourite hang-outs, you will soon be able to walk or drive there without even looking at street names for help. Using your network of friends or family members could help you to meet new people, and remember to spend time getting to know your colleagues so that your working days are easier and more enjoyable. A big city can seem scary, but if you follow the simple advice above you will soon feel right at home.