Sydney-born Calise Simone shares her experience of moving to New York City and her career transformation from Financial Analyst to Psychic Medium.
What brought you to NYC?
I came here from Sydney for a vacation in 2009 and fell in love with New York. The culture, the people and the general ‘vibe’ of the place – there seemed to be endless opportunities. When I got home, I began my job search by emailing and contacting everyone I knew with a connection to New York. I wasn’t exactly sure why at the time, but I knew that I needed to be here and was determined to move across.
Where do you live? Why did you choose that area?
The Upper East Side. It has a charming neighborhood feel and is relatively quiet. It suits me at this stage in my life.
What do you like/dislike about living in NY?
I mostly love the people and opportunity to do whatever you want, whenever you want. New York is a very, very convenient place to live and work. It’s full of life and culture. Being the city that never sleeps is also the downside however. You have to be very disciplined about your daily routine as it’s easy to get burned out.
What’s your ‘only in New York’ moment/s?
Multiple celebrity encounters as you’re going about your day! Also the ability to get a three course meal delivered to your apartment at 2am.
Any advice for people moving to NY?
My main tips would be:
- Have at least 3 months of living expenses up your sleeve. Daily life in NYC is very different from vacationing here and living costs can be high.
- It’s all about who you know. Build up your network of friends and colleagues.
- When you get to New York, make sure to build de-stressing activities into your schedule, whether it’s a meditation class, fitness club, or art night. Do something where you are forced to wind down.
What do you do (for work)?
When I arrived in New York I was working as a buy-side Financial Analyst. I’ve been fortunate enough to pursue one of my passions – spirituality, as a career and am now a full time Psychic Medium. I connect people to their loved ones in the spirit world, predict the future and teach spiritual development and meditation workshops all over the world.
As a Professional working in NYC what are the differences to working in Australia?
Business moves faster here. Everyone’s much more connected. People also expect a very high quality of service so be prepared to go the extra mile if you’re in a service related industry. This culture can make the work/life balance much more challenging than in Australia, but it’s not impossible to achieve.
Any advice for other Professionals working in NYC?
Meditate. What ever your version of that is, find an activity to help you wind down and get centered each day. You’ll need to hit the ground running on your on-days so fully shutting down on your off-days is essential.
What’s your favorite New York spot?
Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. It’s a sanctuary.
Anything you miss about Australia?
Many things. Aside from the obvious friends and family, I’m a Sydney girl so I miss being able to pop to the beach at a moments notice, sushi rolls as a snack (rather than a delicacy) and being able to get by with just a sweater in the winter time.
What are your top 3 tips for friends visiting NYC?
- Be prepared to walk a lot (Bring comfortable shoes)
- Don’t expect to sleep in, there’s too much to see and do!
- Don’t skimp on the accommodation. Pay a little bit extra and book a nice place in Manhattan, you’ll be glad you did it!
Favorite NYC brunch spot:
How did you get into your job in NYC?
My first job in Manhattan I got through my own network and by talking to everyone and anyone who would listen to me. I easily went to over 35 interviews and emailed 75+ applications before I found someone who would sponsor me. I ended up with multiple job offers so it was worth the effort. My current business was built from the ground up, through a mix of relentless determination and passion.
What do you like about being part of AWNY?
Being part of AWNY feels like a big hug. Everyone is friendly and supportive, there’s a mutual understanding that we’re all in this together.
What was your biggest win this week?
Discovering a bus that runs just about door to door from my apartment to my office.
What’s the biggest challenge or roadblock you’ve been faced with since being in NYC and how do you overcome it?
I’ve faced illnesses and relationship breakups a number of times living here. In those tougher moments I relied entirely on my friends to pick me up and put me back together.
I have built up an incredibly supportive group of friends over the years including many native New Yorkers who have stuck by me providing the emotional, mental and financial guidance to get me through the tougher times.
It’s difficult to get through things like that when your family is on the other side of the world. You have to be OK with relying on other people to help you, which is not always easy.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given about living/working in NYC?
You’ll never know if you don’t try.
Who are some Aussie/Kiwi ladies doing awesome things in NYC who are currently on your radar?
I’ve been keeping an eye on Sam Willis, she always seems to be doing interesting things!
What are the best way for AWNY members to get in touch or communicate with you?
If you’re reading this and want to connect please do! I love meeting new people and I’d love to hear from you and your friends. I’m available on social media platforms at @CaliseSimone, my website is www.calisesimone.com and you can email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Calise will take to the stage in NYC on Friday May 18th for “An Evening With Spirit” with fellow psychic medium, Apryl Nicole. More info and tickets are available at https://newyorkspirit.peatix.com.
All images courtesy of Calise Simone