Top 10 Questions About My Move to Seattle

Over the weekend, I finally made my way across the border and landed in ☀️ Sunny Seattle (jk lol). I am still trying to get used to the grey skies and USD prices, but it’s been an eventful start to my journey so far.

For those of you who aren’t aware, I moved to Seattle for my new job as a Communications Manager with our Microsoft HQ based in Redmond, WA. Since starting at Microsoft as an Aspire in 2020, I’ve always wanted to explore a career at the global strategic level—so it is really cool to see this vision come alive!

Today, I am going to answer the Top 10 questions that many friends and peers have been asking me about this big move.

#10 – What’s your new job?

I am a Communications Manager for the Customer Communications team which handles some of our most prominent announcements with our biggest customers. For example, I recently shadowed my team member on this Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices announcement which envisions a future of digital surgery—I also got to help out with the Transform story for this announcement!

In this role, I am also trying to tackle how to engage our Gen-Z and Millennial audiences, particularly defined as the “emerging business decision maker”. As a Millennial myself, I am excited to learn about and explore this area of ambiguity 💡

#9 – How was the visa process?

It was complex and overwhelming, but I am super grateful to be Canadian 🇨🇦 and also have a team of lawyers who guided me through the entire process which took about 3 months. Among the many different visas out there, I ended up getting an L1B visa status, which is the specialized knowledge category for employees who have 1+ year of experience with Microsoft.

#8 – How long are you moving for?

My goal is to make a significant impact on my team and for the company… which takes time. So the short and long answer is it’s probably going to be a while ⏳ I also spoke to many expats who went through a similar journey, some of them decided to move back to Canada after a few years while others ended up staying for decades—let’s just say it’s hard to predict ones life and career. At this point, we shall have to see where things go, but I am trying to focus on embracing the present and living my best life day-by-day!

#7 – Is your partner coming with you?

Gladly, he is coming with me! For many years, he has been aware and supportive of my aspirations to gain international work experience. These days, he has been job hunting so that he can also start his next chapter in the U.S. with me. After 7 years together, we’re excited to try out this “living together” situation… please wish us lots of luck and patience (especially Jackie because I am quite high maintenance) 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

#6 – Did you find a place to live yet?

Fortunately, I have temporary housing for 2 months which has eased my relocation experience so far. As I continue settling down in the next couple weeks, I will start hunting for a more permanent home to live in. There are a lot of things to consider like location, budget, purchase vs. rent, and all that fun stuff. At this point, I think I want to experience the city life in Seattle proper, but I also appreciate being close to work which is on the East side… look at me using the local lingo!

Stay tuned for more updates as we figure all this out in the next couple months… 🏠

#5 – Are you going to get a car?

I have asked a LOT of people whether I should get a car and I got so many mixed responses! However, the main consensus is that it depends on where I choose to live. If I end up on the East side, then a car is definitely a must. If I live somewhere central in Seattle, then transit should be do-able. Plus, there’s Microsoft connector buses that take you to and from campus (and apparently have Wi-Fi so that you can do work on the way) 🚌

#4 – What did your parents think about this move?

Well for 2 years, we’d always expected that I would eventually go back to Toronto once the new Canadian office opened up. However, this new development in my career meant that I would be physically closer to home (since Seattle is closer than Toronto), yet further away when it came to my residential ties.

Although they constantly remind me that being at home is always better because they can take care of me, they are ultimately proud of me for reaching a new milestone in my career. Fun Fact: My Dad is currently with me helping me get settled down 🙌

#3 – What are you going to do with the home you just bought?

Aha! Since I purchased this home with my Mom who will still be living in the home with the rest of my family, there are technically no changes. It’s super ironic because we just moved into a bigger home, only to have my brother leave for Singapore to study abroad and me leaving for the U.S. to work! It will definitely be interesting for my parents and Apple (my dog) to get used to a home with no kids to take care of.

Financially speaking, I hope the home value will go up 📈

#2 – How often will you visit home?

Thankfully, Calgary is only a 1.5 hour flight away from Seattle ✈️ The hope is to visit home at least once a quarter so that I can see my family and friends. At the same time, I also want to explore the U.S. because flights are actually affordable over here… so my travel plans will get interesting as we painfully shake off this exasperating pandemic!

P.S. I also hope that my friends and family will come visit me in Seattle 🙌

#1 – How do you feel about everything?

I am currently holding a bundle of ✨ nervous excitement and cautious optimism ✨ in the palm of my hands. As a mercurial over-thinker, I always ponder about the million things that could go awry… Yet at the same time, I know how lucky I am to have the opportunity to go through this experience!

Right now, I am just looking forward to progress—not perfection 🌱

Closing Thoughts

Thank you so much to everyone who has been so supportive and encouraging in the past few months ❤️ From my family and friends who have been wishing me well, to my colleagues who have been sharing a plethora of advice and guidance, I am so lucky to have you all cheering me on!

Please stay tuned for more updates on this new chapter in my career… I will also share tips, advice, and lessons learned for those who are looking to go through a similar journey. P.S. You might find me vlogging on YouTube or recapping my days on TikTok or Instagram so feel free to hit that 👉 follow or subscribe button 👈 if you’re curious!

My personal philosophy is growing 1% everyday through finding inspiration to share with the world.

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