What Do You Choose When You Can’t Have Both: The Job, or The Location?

New York Skyline

I’ve been thinking about this quite a lot recently, as I’m almost halfway through my year in New York – crazy, I know. I’ve always had a dream of living in New York. I never thought it would actually happen, but here I am.

When applying, I didn’t care what job was going to be offered to me, I was taking it. If it meant living and working in New York, it didn’t matter what I was going to have to do to make a living.

Almost a year ago, I chose location over job. Would I do the same now? Which is the better option? Is it safer to pick the job and just stay somewhere you don’t really like or are too afraid to move from?

What would happen if just booked the flight and moved to our dream destination? Would you be willing to take any job at all if it meant you could live somewhere you’ve always dreamed about? Or do you value a job you love more?

Opting for location over job

When it comes to America, visa processes are extremely difficult. This was a huge factor in my decision to choose location over a job that I would love. If I had been able to apply for a job myself, I may have had the best of both worlds, but I took whatever job could take me to New York the quickest.

Living in New York is the dream for a lot of people, myself included. I knew that I would be working 9-5, Monday to Friday and then enjoying and exploring New York and the rest of the states outside of this time. So to me, it didn’t really matter what job I had, as long as that job was in NYC.

We don’t live to work, we work to live, right? That’s what a lot of people would say. But if you don’t enjoy your job, you may feel like you’re mostly living to go to work everyday. I currently work in the Finance sector and don’t get me wrong, it’s not the worst, but I know that it is not the sector I will be continuing to work in once I have finished my contract.

I miss working in fashion and beauty, I miss the creative side of PR and the events. I would love to try my hand at the music or entertainment industry and I know that I still have the time to explore these avenues while I’m in my early twenties.

Another cog in the system

One of the things that I notice everyday when I go to work is the commute to the Financial District of New York. The morning and evening commute are my least favourite parts of any day.

It’s the thousands of people, all headed to work in the same black or navy corporate suits, airpods in, not speaking to anyone, with the same glum looks on their faces, all racing to get to work on time, elbowing in and out of the subways and tubes.

I don’t enjoy being a part of this group of people silently on their way to their desk and on their way home. My dream would be the freedom to work my own hours, on my own time, not travelling during rush hours and being able to wear non-corporate clothes.

The ultimate dream would be to work remotely from a laptop from my villa in Bali. I mean, one can only aspire to have lives like Becca Gillen or Siobhan O’Hagan who seem to not have a care in the world living in paradise and making their money at the same time.

Choosing the job over the location

When I lived in London for my placement year, I moved there because of the job. I was open to going anywhere from Liverpool with year in industry. It could have been to Leeds, Dublin or even Edinburgh. I didn’t mind testing out a new city if it meant I could work full-time in PR for a year.

It just so happened that my dream PR role that I was offered was in London, the PR capital of the world, you could say. I had an amazing year in London, but on the most part, I didn’t know anyone except for the other interns and Marcel (www.marcelkl.co.uk), so it was a rather lonely year at times.

I know that I wouldn’t have enjoyed my year in London half as much if it hadn’t been for the job. My PR job definitely made my year in London one of the most amazing years of my short 22 year old life so far.

The next big move

Now that we’re into the second month of 2020, the end of my year here in New York is slowly looming closer, and all of us interns are slowly starting to feel nervous about what our next career move is going to be.

A lot of the interns have already been applying for graduate schemes back home, a few know that they want to move back home or either to London and the rest of us simply haven’t a clue.

I would love to go traveling for a while after my year in New York but this city has bled me dry so it will definitely be straight onto Indeed to look for a new job after I come home in September. The question is, where will that job be?

For my next career move, I definitely think I’m going to look for a job I know I will enjoy, love and have a lot of passion for. I’ve had that job before, so I know exactly what I’m looking for. The only difference this time is that I will be looking for this job in a new location that I want to live in.

Where that is, I haven’t yet decided. It’s very much up in the air as to whether I will go further afield to Dubai, Australia, Canada (or somehow stay in the US) or whether a dream job will open up in London. If that was the case, I would very much consider it.


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