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22 year old son wants to move to LA with no job - some questions

22 year old son wants to move to LA with no job - some questions

Old Apr 8th, 2009, 06:17 PM
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Sorry that I did not read the replies. My son did exactly this from the Boston suburbs when he graduated from college and he eased his way in by renting a "share", in a 2BR apartment w/UCLA seniors. He found this living situation by accessing the UCLA housing website. It was a good way to start out w/o the commitment of living w/someone for an extended period of time. However, my son moved at the beginning of the school year, not the end, but even now there might be similar openings in apartments b/c UCLA is on quarters not semesters and they go thru mid June and then comes a summer quarter. It might be worth a look as a short-term way to get to know where he wants to be.
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Old Apr 8th, 2009, 09:02 PM
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Does he have any back-up out here (family or friends he can count on) if things are tough? Can he live with them without paying rent until he finds a job? Things are really, really tough out here right now and I know lots of people who are job hunting and not finding jobs - even the menial ones. I did the same thing when I was young and things worked out great but as I have gotten older I wonder what I was thinking. Good luck to him.
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Old Apr 8th, 2009, 09:32 PM
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I live in Orange County and my 21 yr old son rents a 2 bedroom 890 sq ft apartment in a semi sketchy area of Costa Mesa for $1200 which includes utilities. He says it was the best deal he could find in that vicinity. He and his roomates have no credit to speak of but both have jobs.

Orange County would not be the best choice for a job. Our office is close to the Art Institute campus and we have employed several of the animation students part time in our graphics department. As they graduated and looked for fulltime employent most of them wound up moving to LA. They all wound up looking for nearly six months and that was before the economy took a dive.
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Old Apr 9th, 2009, 10:31 AM
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Gail, my son went on this adventure in August 2007. We learned valuable information along the way. He is still
there. Bottom line, bring way more money than you ever thought you would need, make contacts immediately, and don't assume anything. I couldn't possibly tell you all my tips so feel free to email me at [email protected]. We are from Boston so the distance is difficult.
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Old Apr 9th, 2009, 10:54 AM
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We lived in the LA area after college for a few years. Perhaps things have changed, but the Valley used to be cheaper than Culver City, Santa Monica etc. Also, the previous poster who complained about a 45-minute commute each way had it pretty good, in my opinion.

I also was not prepared that some apartments would not have their own refrigerator or in some cases their own stove. None of the apartments we rented had a refrigerator.

Perhaps your son could network with his alumni listserves/boards from his old college to sublet or share housing.
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Old Apr 11th, 2009, 03:31 PM
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My family owns apts in West LA: In this area (Mar Vista near Santa Monica), a 1 bedroom apt. can list for $1,000.

The west LA area is great. I grew up in west LA near Santa Monica airport. This is a great area - it's pretty safe. The beaches are close by. LA traffic can be horrific during rush hour. So, I suggest he looks to live closer to where he's going to work. Does he have his own transportation?

Have him go to Westside Rental Connection in Santa Monica on Wilshire or go their website. Your son can get access to information for rentals for several areas at a time. My family lists their rentals on this site. It's a great place to start.

Good luck to him and I wish him well. Times are tough in LA as they are everywhere else.
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Old Apr 11th, 2009, 03:35 PM
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One more thing, if your son finds a place see if he can get a month to month rental in case things don't work out or he needs to move closer to work when he finds it.
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Old Apr 11th, 2009, 05:44 PM
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I worked in the Los Angeles area as an artist for 25 years. For the last 10 of those I worked on contract or as a freelancer. I worked on many animation projects, all were contract positions and they were all over the area, from Oceanside to Oxnard, from Culver City to Riverside. You'll find animators working in small studios all over the southland. I once worked on a project for Castle Rock Entertainment in a makeshift office in Long Beach. We had folding tables, a rack of servers and workstations. A few months later I working in luxury offices in Brentwood.

Most of my colleagues also work contract to contract, and commute all over as determined by the project. My advice to him would be to decide where he would like to live and not worry about where he might be working. If he does find that ever-elusive "permanent position," he can always move closer to work later.

The L.A. area offers a variety of places to live, from the beach to the foothills, city life to small-town atmosphere, hip and trendy lofts or quiet bedroom communities.

I can also offer a few suggestions for agencies to get him started working as soon as possible. Aquent and Creative Circle are great agencies and work with the best clients, including Disney and the studios. Disney is very hard to get into, I was called in to interview with them maybe 20 times over the years and never landed that dream job. But I worked many times at Disney, sometimes both freelance, others on contract. My first contact with Disney was through Aquent, but once I was in the door I was asked back many times.

I always enjoyed the variety , the freedom and the money that came with working contract. It would be a great way for your son to try some different jobs and sample different companies while looking for a full-time gig.
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Old Apr 24th, 2020, 11:21 AM
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11 years later ----- and same question!

Hello! So you have had time to live through the situation....what say you? My son will be 21 in July, and as soon as it is safe to go back into the world he plans on packing up his Michigan bedroom to move to LA....no job, no degree, just ambition and drive. I too made a similar move in my early 20s to NY. It's just different when it is your kid. Any advice is welcome


Originally Posted by gail View Post
No - question not better suited for Lounge. Unlikely I will be able to talk him out of this - I am well aware of the insecurity in doing this, the financial situation of California, etc. Unfortunately, this is exactly how I ended up in Boston over 30 years ago - and have no regrets (but I still think this is a stupid thing for him to do).

Acknowledging that LA area is huge, if one were to move to the area without geographic restrictions, what area would you suggest as a place to rent an apartment - reasonable balance between price and safety. He has lived in dangerous areas in Savannah, and is reasonably street smart. He will be looking for a crummy job doing anything while he seeks a future in the art and animation industry (with a degree) - but right now just wants to taste the West Coast.

So if someone were going to do something so foolish, what area of LA and surrounding areas would you direct them to?
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Old Apr 24th, 2020, 12:41 PM
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I moved to LA without a job when I was about 26 and it was one of the best things I ever did. Back then, LA was pretty reasonable in rents, though. I lived in Santa Monica and rent was pretty reasonable before all the tourists and internet industry, etc., ruined it. Now I lived with someone who had a job, so getting an apt wasn't a problem on that score.

The idea that you can't move somewhere without having a job is something only someone a lot older and wealthier would say. That's ridiculous for someone starting out IMO. First, it is very difficult to get a job when you don't live in a city when you are just starting out, unless you have some real marketable and defined skill/degree (and even then, you'd have to interview in advance). I didn't. Even a regular college degree, which I had, isn't going to make anyone hire you long distance. I suppose if you had a law degree or something where you interview at school, sure, but not for the rest of us regular folks. This is really not "so foolish" if you are used to supporting yourself, it's not that different from living back home in a city you may not like if you don't have a great job there, either.

I never asked my parents for permission, I just told them I was going to do this. I had been self-supporting, including paying all my way through grad school, for years, though. And I had a couple college friends in LA already, so knew some people.

I think you could do this without that much trouble by looking for house shares to begin with, lots of people do that when moving to a new city. Heck, where I live now, a 65 yr old woman I met a while ago just did that because she couldn't stand living in Texas any more. She was staying in a group house with a couple other adults. When I moved to LA without a job, I did temp work for months until I got a job. Of course, I had skills, also. Not what I wanted to do the rest of my life, but it was kind of fun at that time as I got to work at a lot of TV studios and met a lot of "stars", etc. Just a fun atmosphere. That wasn't hard to do if you had what used to be called secretarial skills, which I did. YOu can still do that, I bet, I know you can where I live now, there are temp agencies if you can type, know Excel, WORD, etc. Heck, my company had a temp once who was a guy who was about 75, I think, he was doing some filing work or something. I found out which temp agencies in LA the studios used, it wasn't hard and plenty of work. There are lots of various kinds of temp agencies around, I just was good at office work.

As I said, if you are self-supporting, there really isn't any difference from moving to LA with no job than living in your home town without a job. What difference does it make, depends on the cost of living in both places and availability of jobs you might get.
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Old Apr 24th, 2020, 01:21 PM
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"... no job, no degree, just ambition and drive."

Ambition to do what?

I wouldn't consider moving to L.A. for at least a year or whenever things become more clear as to which businesses will even survive the Covid era, how some industries will adjust to possible new regulations, etc. Even the fall-back job of waiting tables may not be a reliable option if restaurants are forced to drastically reduce seating capacity for the foreseeable future. Many low-level office positions (temp or otherwise) may not exist if companies shift away from traditional/historical work environments.

This is different from when any of us were kids. Even the comments on this thread from 11 years ago aren't particularly helpful as the housing market has tightened significantly, causing rents to rise quite a bit and allowing landlords to be very selective. The applicant with a reliable job, local references and a good credit history will be chosen before the unemployed newcomer.

I don't know what the cost of living in Michigan is like, but anyone moving to L.A. should research rental costs (including the money required just to move in), the price of gas and car insurance, and the cost of health insurance. (Luckily, Obamacare is a good option in California.)

To arrive without a job or degree will make everything extremely difficult.
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Old Apr 24th, 2020, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by gail View Post
22 year old son wants to move to LA with no job

So if someone were going to do something so foolish, what... would you direct them to?

Gladys Knight and the Pips :

Midnight Train to Georgia
(take it from the top)


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Old Apr 24th, 2020, 02:43 PM
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I'm not sure what the purpose of this post is. At 21 it's unlikely he'll take his mother's advice & certainly not anyone's here. I see no reason why he shouldn't do what he wants to do, have an adventure which is what being 21 is for. If it doesn't work out for him he can do something else, so why not?
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Old Apr 24th, 2020, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by MmePerdu View Post
I'm not sure what the purpose of this post is. At 21 it's unlikely he'll take his mother's advice & certainly not anyone's here. I see no reason why he shouldn't do what he wants to do, have an adventure which is what being 21 is for. If it doesn't work out for him he can do something else, so why not?
I agree. I moved to California a month after graduating from college. I took jobs that had nothing to do with my education for a year and a half before I started law school I stayed in CA for 46 years. If it hadnít worked out, I would have returned to NY.
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Old Apr 24th, 2020, 05:26 PM
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Ha...you are ALL right, and have expressed everything I'm feeling. Thank you for chiming in stay safe!
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Old Apr 25th, 2020, 07:49 AM
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hi isaiahdavidsmom~ Welcome to the forums. But you didn't even tell us what kind of skills he does have. At 21 hopefully he has worked before, right? Or if he has money saved enough to fund this move, nothing extravagant but a 1st/last/deposit amount of money? Or he plans to craigslist roomshare? Does he own a car that's paid for and in decent condition? That's really more important for LA than some other cities.
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Old Apr 25th, 2020, 11:50 AM
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So the good news is he's been working at Planet Fitness and teaching dance and gymnastics prior to everything being shut down in Michigan (where his cost of living is not much because he lives at home). He has a great reliable Honda and a few friends who have already made the move. This was always his plan. Does he know what he wants to do??? All kinds of artsy things and marketing, but still trying to figure it out. One person mentioned that it is hard to get a job from another state, and you are right...that's what he keeps telling me. He likes his job at Planet Fitness and is hoping to work there. He's responsible, a good person, and has way more money than I had when I moved to New York as a 20 year old... I have come to the conclusion that he will be fine...I just have to stop "sMothering". He even said, I want to live without a safety net.
I guess I needed to talk it out. lol I googled "my son wants to move to LA with no job" and found this thread. Thank you for replying!
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Old Apr 25th, 2020, 12:31 PM
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I don't know about the rest of the state, but in the L.A. area all gyms are closed indefinitely.
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Old Apr 25th, 2020, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by isaiahdavidsmom View Post
He has a great reliable Honda and a few friends who have already made the move. This was always his plan. Does he know what he wants to do??? All kinds of artsy things and marketing, but still trying to figure it out. One person mentioned that it is hard to get a job from another state, and you are right...that's what he keeps telling me. He likes his job at Planet Fitness and is hoping to work there. He's responsible, a good person, and has way more money than I had when I moved to New York as a 20 year old... I have come to the conclusion that he will be fine...I just have to stop "sMothering". He even said, I want to live without a safety net.

Yeah, it sounds a lot better when put this way... if there are FRIENDS there, then there is decent margin for error.


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Old Apr 26th, 2020, 09:56 AM
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"He even said, I want to live without a safety net."

I missed that earlier... I think that attitude scares me more than anything about his plan.
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