Advice for Minnesota Transplants

... by Transplants for Transplants:

  • So why make yourself nuts trying to please everyone when you never will? Do what seems right to you and let the others catch up. The worst thing is to stay at home and be glum. Find something Minnesotans like that you also like, start going to events and getting to know people. Voila.  (East coast 40-something woman in non-profits who moved here in the 1990's.)
  • Take a deep breath, enjoy the state for all its beautiful wildlife, topography, and vegetation. Minnesota has glorious weather and geography! Have patience with the natives, but don't let it (or them) get you down or frustrated. (West coast 40-something woman in financial services who moved here in the mid to late 2000s.)
  • Find friends who are not from here. You will identify with them better. (40-something recent transplant from the East Coast working in a non-profit.)
  • Breathe. It’s not really you and it’s not really them - it’s a cultural problem. There’s nothing wrong with you, but you must learn how to play the game in order to achieve whatever you’re trying for. Ask for feedback, pad your statements with niceties, check in often, phrase confrontational conversations with lots of “I statements,” and ask directly for flexibility, help, and patience on their part as you learn to navigate MN nice. Also, trust your “spidey-sense.” If something feels off in a social situations, it most likely is. (West coast woman in health care who moved here in the late 2000s.)
  • Be yourself.  (50-something woman who moved to MN in the 1990’s)
  • Make friends with other transplants and slowly get to know Minnesotans. (40-something man in the public utility industry from South Korea who moved to MN in the 1990’s)
  • I found in HR that if we had trouble with someone and I need to go down and talk to them face-to-face. I spent so many years in meetings, good grief! Get rid of those things and then find the key participants and go talk to them directly. Have lunch with them! &We were able to solve a lot of problems that way.  (70-something man retired from HR, living in Mound, Minnesota)
  • Explain your management style to them.   (40-something man in education field who moved to MN prior to 1980)
  • Be quiet. Listen before speaking. The typical East Coaster is used to a pace and directness that isn't typical here.   Minnesotan's are the classic passive-aggressive model that can be maddeningly frustrating.  (Man in the manufacturing industry who has lived in many regions of the US in addition to the UK and Canada and who moved here between 2000-2005)
  • Get the work experience you want or need and leave the state. (40-something woman in health care from the West Coast who moved here in 2011-2012)
  • Breathe.  Count to ten and live with the discomfort. (50-something woman in education field who just moved to MN from the East Coast in 2011-13)
  • I think definitely meetups and things like that are hugely important because there are so many people looking for connections. Keep trying. There are a lot of people who don’t respond or who aren’t interested, but it’s definitely worth it for those who do. Keep finding different social situations and combinations of people and there definitely will be someone who responds openly. (early 30's man in the customer service field)
  • Ask more questions than stating things.  (50-something male MBA in private consulting)
  • I think the best thing for dating is to pick up something that you love. If you like running join a running club, if you like wine join a wine club. Then you’re not tied to the intensity of going on a date. (Iranian born and raised woman in her late 30's in the medical device field)
  • I think that especially for the people who move here because of a relationship with a Minnesotan, I would definitely recommend that they need to build their own friendships and social life, versus just being very much attached to someone else. It’s a healthy way of doing things in my opinion.  (same person as above)
  • Don't be as boisterous(Anonymous)
  • It is going to be quite the shocker.  Be prepared for that, especially if you’re from a community that’s really about showing emotions or feelings.  I don’t really know what it is but they just don’t have the ability to show it.  It’s not proper or something. (30-something man in sales)

  • It’s a lot harder to find people [to connect with].  Know you’re not alone.  You will start questioning yourself, questioning this and that and a lot of pent-up frustration will come upon you and it’s good to find ways to let that out... (same person as above)
  • Move away as soon as you can.  (30-something in the manufacturing field who is originally from Minnesota but has lived in Colorado and Oregon.  Her job brought her back to MN a few years ago)
  • Find other people who have moved here. You’ll need a support network of outsiders. And if you want to get out and make friends take a class, volunteer somewhere, join and association or club. It’s all about putting yourself out there. (man in the learning and development field here for six years)
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