This post is part of a TNGG series on cities.
Whether you’re considering relocating to Raleigh out of allegiance to the Pack or because of a job in the developing Research Triangle Park (RTP) area, there are some things that you should be prepared for before you sign that lease or pop the cork from that new-job celebratory bottle. Having been a resident of the area for most of my childhood, as I near graduation I have heavily contemplated whether or not taking up residence in my “father-land” is something I would consider as a young professional.
Raleigh has previously received numerous hat tips from Forbes.com and Men’s Health as the sixth Best City for Singles and a Top 10 Best Place to Find A Mate, respectively. (Not bad news for a single soon-to-be-grad). The social scene keeps young professionals active; clubs and bars are available en masse in the downtown area. However, if you find yourself a resident in one of the outer suburbs of Raleigh, you might have to make a trek to reach the more lively social scene.
Other highlights endear the location. If you are athletically inclined, there are plenty of race events around the Raleigh area. If you are one of the more cultured types, Monet and Picasso can be found in the free North Carolina Museum of Art. Film junkies can find a variety of foreign and independent films at both The Colony and The Rialto.
What about networking? With so many innovative minds in the area, TEDxRTP was launched and has recently held an event, with another one planned for NCSU in August (Follow @TEDxRTP for more details!) There is also an active PechaKucha Night chapter in Raleigh, which holds free idea-sharing events featuring experts and community members sharing on various community-related topics. There are also plenty of networking groups established throughout the area, but several require a paid membership to attend, which may be hard on the young professional’s budget.
For the environmentally conscious (and tasty-minded) individual, Raleigh and the surrounding North Carolina areas provide a lot of ways to get connected with farmers in the area, resulting in blooming friendships and fresh produce for all. The Raleigh Farmer’s Market is open Monday through Saturday, 5am-6pm.
As I mentioned earlier, a main variable to consider is the location of where you would be living. While there are growing neighborhoods in the Raleigh suburbs and the RTP area, moving to one of these locations as a young professional may get you stuck in an area that has an unspoken 8 p.m. curfew for most cafes and restaurants. With a higher demand from young professionals, this may change, but not unless the demand is made known to local business owners.
Two hours from the mountains, two hours from the beach, an active arts scene and some of the fiercest sports rivalries on the East coast are characteristics that define Raleigh and the surrounding area. With networking opportunities and multiple ways to get involved with the community, Raleigh definitely deserves a nod for consideration for soon-to-be college graduates or young professionals in the career field.