When I was planning a move to Portland in 2009, “Portlandia” didn’t exist and I had no friends in the city that I could ask for help. At that time, I found limited information on Portland aside from the “Lonely Planet” guide I picked up.
Needless to say, things have changed.
Today, you can find a plethora of articles ranging anywhere from 37 Things You Should Consider Before Moving to Portland to Is Portland Really Where Young People Retire?
Portland is a great place to live and work, so if you’re really considering a move to the Rose City, here are the things you need to do:
1. Pick a neighborhood
Portland is split into the east and west sides by the Willamette River. There are basically five neighborhoods in the inner city – North, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, and Southwest.
You should consider where you would work, if you want to take public transportation, drive or bike, and what kind of culture you’re most interested in.
The landscape of the neighborhoods varies from the large, gloomy Victorians in Southeast and Northwest, to the craftsman, bungalow style homes in Northeast, all the way to city-living, high-rise condos in downtown and the Pearl District.
Even the feeling of each neighborhood is different. I live in Southeast Hawthorne district where the vibe is funky, tattooed, and smells of patchouli, while Northwest Portland offers a different experience complete with cute wine bars and cozy coffee shops.
2. Find a home
Consider whether you want to rent or buy, and are you looking for a condo, apartment, duplex, or house? Do you want roommates and if so, would you rather move into their space or find a place that you can then bring a roommate into?
3. Watch the local job boards
But there’s a plethora of other niche job boards in Portland. Consider the following options:
- Portland Poached Jobs for the service industry
- CNRG for nonprofit jobs
- Silicon Florist for tech jobs
- Portland Creative List for creative positions and gigs
- PDXMindshare for local jobs, events, and workshops
- PDXPipeline for more jobs in Portland
- StoriJobs for diversity jobs
- Willamette Valley Development Officers for fundraising opportunities
4. Read the hyper-local papers
Support Street Roots (only $1) a local, nonprofit newspaper published every two weeks. Proceeds help to create income opportunities for the homeless.
Subscribe to PDX Pipeline for a weekly email of local news and events in Portland.
Finally, pick up a copy of the Zinester’s Guide to Portland, a locally produced travel guide great for new residents or purchase The Portland Monthly for ideas on where to eat, who to watch out for, and what to do!
5. Build community
Consider joining a club to meet new people. If you play sports, check out the Underdog sports league. Volunteer for a local nonprofit such as the Forest Park Conservancy or an association like the American Marketing Association.
Got a dog? Check out PortlandPooch.com and connect with other dog owners at one of the many local dog parks.
Portlanders are friendly, so strike up a conversation with your neighbors, get to know your barista, and tip your server well to support local businesses and build community right in your own neighborhood.
Consider networking as a way to develop your professional community. You can find links to many Portland networking events on the Mac’s List blog.