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New York: Job Search and Accommodation

As an expat working in New York, you will participate in one of the largest city economies worldwide! Here, foreign corporations and local businesses make up a diverse job market. Our article on working in New York looks into various fields of employment, social security, taxes, and more.
Browsing the Yellow Pages for suitable employers might pay off!

Job Hunting: Don’t Forget the Hidden Job Market

If you are looking for a job in New York, the New York Times job market, whether in print or online, should be your first source of information. Alternatively, a regular internet search should result in various other search tools and databases for vacancies and employers in New York City. Websites such as Jobsin New York, for example, advertise local jobs for those who speak English.

In the US, it’s generally said that less than half of all job opportunities are openly advertised, so giving unsolicited applications a go can definitely be worth the effort. Check the New York Yellow Pages for contact details of suitable businesses, or ask your nearest US Chamber of Commerce for a list of companies with branches or business associates in New York.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook is recommended reading if you’d like to get an overview of the US labor market and find out more about occupations currently in demand.

The Job Market in NYC — Even Harder as an Expat

A general word of warning: unless you are sent to New York on an expat assignment, or you are a renowned specialist in your field, getting a job in NYC can be incredibly difficult for overseas applicants.

This is partly due to the vast pool of talented New Yorkers available to the city’s recruiters. It also has to do with the fact that the process of filing a visa application for a potential foreign employee is rather time consuming and costly for employers. Finally, as tempting as it might seem, coming to New York on a tourist visa to look for work is illegal and certainly not recommended.

If you are curious about which certificates and professional qualifications would improve your chances during the job hunt and what the job market looks like, take a look at our article on finding work in the USA.

Get Your Wallet Ready: Housing in the Big Apple

Finding accommodation in New York can be just as difficult as finding a job. The demand for nice, convenient, yet affordable accommodation far exceeds the supply. Thus, you need to be prepared to invest a lot of time and/or considerable amounts of money in order to find the right place to live.

People who enlist the services of a relocation firm or a real estate agent can save themselves a lot of legwork, but this comfort comes at a price. Aside from information on the property itself, a good real estate agent should be able to provide you with detailed information on neighborhoods, communities, local schools, and public transportation. Some companies assist new employees in finding accommodation, and others publish an employee magazine with useful information on the property market.

Plan Enough Time: Finding Accommodation

Those with a lot of time on their hands can, of course, go apartment-hunting themselves. Check newspapers, online listing services, or notice boards in schools, grocery stores, or at bus stops for apartments available for rent.

Familiarizing yourself with the property and the neighborhood before signing a contract is vital, even if you feel pressured to act by the proprietor or the broker. If you have found an area or a specific building where you would like to live, it might be worth asking the superintendent to put you on the waiting list, even if no vacancies are currently being advertised.

Sometimes, young (and even not-so-young) professionals on average incomes unwilling to compromise on size and location consider flat-sharing as a more affordable alternative.

Buying Your Own Home

For well-to-do expats who bring their families to New York, it could be worth it to buy rather than rent property in some of the more suburban and residential boroughs. Given the high demand for real estate, it should be possible to resell a well-kept house or apartment at a profit after a couple of years. Although buying property in the US is relatively straightforward, even for foreigners, hiring an attorney to guide you through the process is highly recommended.

Buying a house or an apartment is rather common in the United States, and realtors specialize in housing sales, as opposed to rentals. Read our guide on buying property in the USA to find out all you need to know.


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