Australia to New York - The Concrete Jungle Where Dreams Are Made of


I have now been in NYC for 10 months. I crossed many borders to get here – countries: Australia to the US, career: HR Generalist to HR agency recruitment consultant, company: from a 500 person Australian law firm to a 5 person office of a boutique global consultancy, work culture: suits to jeans. My office view is Times Square rather than Sydney Harbour. It’s been a big life change but quite amazing. 


I have worked in Talent Acquisition/Generalist HR for 10+ years across different industries and countries, performing many of the roles I now recruit for, I’ve been in the shoes of both a candidate and a hiring manager at different stages of my career. 


I knew this knowledge would be advantageous for my new job at Elliott Scott HR, but I hadn’t appreciated how much I would draw upon these skills, outside of my working hours in this new city. I had successfully secured my new job, but there were key vacancies I wanted to fill in my personal life, notably flatmates and new friends. It was a high priority situation. 


After a mild moment of panic, I drew on my experience and broke it all down into the standard recruitment process I was familiar with:


  1. Confirm the role description: When taking on a new role we ask our clients for a detailed brief. We want to understand what is essential versus desirable and what they’re willing to be flexible with versus what is non-negotiable. It’s also important to understand their culture and values and find candidates who align. All of which can be related to making friendships! Confirming the budget with a client is key for recruitment and is certainly important when apartment hunting.

  2. Source/shortlist candidatesNetworking is by far the best way to find new friends and I started this prior to leaving Australia. I received a ‘referral’ from a mutual friend, reached out, suggested that we meet up and locked in a time/place. My search for flatmates was similar to job seeking – endless scrolling through Craigslist and sending multiple applications was not efficient or successful but leveraging contacts and using a broker was.

  3. Interview: I love recruitment and interviewing is a major part of my job. However, I hadn’t anticipated that I would be interviewing in one of the most competitive cities in the world for both my professional and personal life! The same principles apply though; confirm the format, do your research (use social media/contacts), prep on your background & achievements and know what you want before you go in. Don’t expect a formula and…be on time! 

  4. Offer: With flatmates, you often have 15 minutes to exchange information. The goal here isn’t necessary to make lifelong friends but there are some essential boxes to tick off (solvent/friendly/tidy etc.). Finding suitable accommodation is competitive and a considerable amount of money is at stake. You need to express interest quickly and then nervously wait for an offer. New friends are more of a slow burn. It can take a few rounds before you know it’s the right fit for you and until you’re offered admission into the circle. 

  5. Acceptance: When I completed the interview process for Elliott Scott HR and accepted my role, I was so excited! The same applied when I made new friends and found my flatmates. All those interviews had been worth it! I could relax…….


Wrong! I may have sealed the deals but the process doesn’t stop there. You need to continue to work on your relationships and expand your network to stay current and engaged within all your circles. It takes persistence, tenacity, resilience and it’s tiring. However, all are essential elements to developing a new career, maintaining friendships, creating a home and to “making it” in New York. 


I assure you, once you’ve got this right and you make it here, there’s nothing you can’t do!


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