Help, I’m Moving To B.C.!

Moving to a new city can be daunting, let alone a moving to a new country. There are so many things to consider and it can become overwhelming and exhausting.  Home is where the heart is after all, so it’s important to make plans so that you feel happy in your new surroundings. I moved to Vancouver, BC from England two years ago and it was definitely a big adjustment. The only thing the two places had in common was the rain, which to be honest I could live without.

The initial things that come to mind when moving somewhere new is securing a place to live and a job to pay your bills and your Friday night bar tab. These things are definitely a priority but you may need a few tools before this to achieve your goals. Ideally you should secure a place to live before you move to BC, but if this isn’t possible then you should look at couchsurfing.org.

Get Connected

Once in BC you’ll need access to the internet and a phone in order to find a job and a place to live. Local libraries can provide free computer access and printers as well as your local WorkBC office. For a phone it is pretty simple to go into a store and buy a cell phone for $40 and pay as you go. Here is a list of a few providers;

  1. Fido
  2. Koodo
  3. Rogers
  4. Telus
  5. Bell

Find A Place To Live

Now that you have a line of communication, you can start your search for your dream home. BC is not a cheap province to live in.  It’s a good idea to explore property rental prices in different areas to see what suits your price range. When looking for a place to live there are several websites that come in handy;

  1. Craigslist– There was recently a comical theatre production about Craigslist, as essentially you can find ANYTHING on this site. From the local doctor’s old pair of socks to the best toothbrush you have ever had, Craigslist has it all. Due to the variety of things this website has to offer some users get discouraged when they come to the property rental section. However most people I know since moving to this city have used this site to find a place to live. Of course be skeptical of some of the less informative ads, but this site can definitely help find you your dream home.
  2. Padmapper This website is great. It gives you the option to select your budget, how many bedrooms/bathrooms you need and if it’s pet friendly. There are also several other filters that you can select and it will give you a list as well as a map with the location of the properties.
  3. Rent BC This website has listings for properties all over the province and similar to Padmapper it has filters that you can initiate to find something within your price range. It has a section for student housing as well as properties to buy.
  4. BCforsalebyowner.com If you are looking to buy a property and don’t want to go through a real estate agent, but through the homeowner itself, then this website is great. It has lots of great properties across the province and is user friendly.

Some properties will be fully furnished and ready to rock and roll, but for others you will need to find your own bits and bobs. Craigslist is again a great resource for this, as well as scouting out the local thrift stores. Ikea and Costco also sell reasonably price products to fit out your new home.

Find A Job

Once you are settled into your new digs the next step should be to find employment. There is the old school method of handing out resumes door to door, but this will only be successful if you are looking for a customer service or hospitality job. Even with customer service jobs companies now expect you to do an online application, so here are some websites to help you along the way:

  1. CraigslistI know I have mentioned this site a lot, but my last 3 jobs in BC I have found through this website. It has different sections for different industries and its easy to scroll through and find something that you are looking for. It’s quite easy to spot the difference between a legitimate ad and a sketchy one, but definitely a great resource.
  2. WorkBC The government website is a great source of information and has a variety of jobs advertised. It is user friendly and is updated daily.
  3. Indeed Jobs This site uses a search engine model and is great if you are looking for something specific.
  4. Alliance for Arts If you are looking for a job in theatre, film, music or art this is the site for you. It shows a lot of employment opportunities that other websites miss and is very specific for those in the creative field.
  5. Charity Village This website site caters to those looking for work in the non-profit industry. It has jobs in healthcare, charities as well as outreach programs. Even if you are looking for an administration job but don’t want to work downtown in a high rise, it’s a great resource.

If you’re looking for something temporary whilst searching for something more permanent you can always look at temp agencies. There is a ton in BC and they can be very helpful for a short-term employment solution. Just do a Google search and you will come up with a huge list. If you are having problems with finding employment, or you feel like you need to brush up on a few skills, visit you local WorkBC employment center. They can take a look at you resume and book you in for workshops to improve your interview skills and help you reach your employment goal.

Once you are ready to go, enjoy your time in BC, It’s a beautiful place to live and there is so much to do and see. If you settle in Vancouver like me go see the Canucks battle it out at Rogers Arena, take a stroll in Stanley Park, visit the aquarium or enjoy the variety of cultural experiences the province has to offer. Embrace the adventure and enjoy your new home, you will never want to leave, I know I didn’t.

Ashley Bentley is an employment advisor for Open Door group in Vancouver, British Columbia. Whilst supporting clients reach their employment goals, Ashley is also an active part of the community.  She has volunteered for several women’s organization and taken part in fundraising activities for the Scotia Bank Aids walk. Ashley enjoys swimming, attending theatre and music performances and has an avid love for cheese.

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