Moving to DC? Here’s what you need to know

cityIf you’re planning to make a move to Washington DC, you should learn as much as you can to make an informed decision when you finally decided to do it. Washington DC is a great place to move to. If you’re looking for job opportunities, there’s no shortage of them in the nation’s capital. But every man has his own city and Washington DC may or may not be for you.

First of all, you should know that Washington DC is comprised of a vast network of professional and governmental jobs. If you’re into politics or looking to make a move into politics, then it should be pretty clear why this is the ideal city to kick start your career. Who wouldn’t want to work in the home of the legislative, judicial and executive branches of the Government? Since Washington is the hotbed of political activity, expect to face fierce competition from other job seekers that are looking for the same opportunities.

Young people straight out of college come to DC with high hopes of starting their careers become disappointed when they find out that it’s not as easy as they were led to believe. While Washington DC has more than politics, if you’re looking for a job with the Government, you should be absolutely sure that your services and skills are needed before moving out. Of course, you could always take an entry level position or do an internship as a way of getting real-world experience, just remember that others are already doing the same thing, making the whole field a whole lot more competitive.

Another fact you should do before you move anywhere is to research costs of living, including food, transportation and rent. Rent is not cheap in Washington. Many hopefuls put a temporary stop to their dreams when they see the prices they have to pay in the capital. A single bedroom apartment outside the city center will cost you from $1400 and upwards. For those who have to work in the centre you’re looking to pay from $2000 and up. The average is two income earners per household so if you’re on your own, it’s going to be tough, especially if this is your first time around.

For this reason, many choose to live on the outskirts instead of the heart of the Capital. You can always move to the center once you get a better job and get your living situation under control. Of course, living in the suburbs comes with the inherent disadvantages of having a long commute to work and having to pay parking fees on a daily basis. However, if you’re coming from the ‘burbs, don’t worry – there’s an extensive network of public transportation that will you get to your destination. If you’re strapped on cash, you may be forced to settle on a smaller apartment. In such cases, people opt to pay for self storage since they don’t have the room to store their belongings.

If you have a family and children then one of the top priorities for you is probably to find a school. Not all schools are good so you should do some research before you pick one. A good idea would be to look at a local school’s performance over the past couple of years and based on that to pick something that is situated in a good school district.

You’ll never run out of things to do in Washington DC, but if you want to blend in with the local crowd you should know that Washingtonians are hard workers and often put their work before play. So if you’re used to frequenting hang-outs or going to many parties, unless it’s in a work setting, you’ll have to curb down these. If you’re new here and don’t exactly have an established social circle, you might find it hard to relate to others, at least in the beginning. I guess the same goes for any other big city. As you advance in your career and make new friends, things should get progressively easier.

Washington DC has a plethora of sights for tourists and locals alike. This city is literally steeped in American history and you’ll see this reflected in both architecture, local culture and specific places. Another upside is that most capitol attractions are free of charge.

Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, Ford’s Theatre and President Lincoln’s Cottage are some of the most famous landmarks in this sprawling city. Imagine that once you move in, these beautiful attractions are going to become part of your everyday life. Perhaps the novelty will run out after a while, but I don’t think there’s anything to complain about in a beautiful and prominent city like this.

Another thing you should be aware of is transportation. While a couple of miles of commuting might not seem like a big deal, wait until you experience a Washington rush hour. You may quickly reconsider, and plan accordingly in the future.

Public transportation is big in Washington and most people opt to use the Metrorail (similar to New York’s subway) and Metrobuses. If you’re not going to leave Washington on a regular basis, you can get by with only public transportation.

All major cities have their pros and cons. The same goes for Washington DC. You’ll have to sit down and look at what makes you want to live here in the first place and then plan how you are going to move out here. This is a great city that offers a lot. Will you call yourself a proud Washingtonian?