Real Job vs. City Decisions 3 Years Later

So, are you still thinking about what city you want to conquer in the near future?

It’s a tough call — so just do me a small favor and stop trying to think about what others are doing and what you “should” be doing. Consider what your personal goals are. Maybe, you want to move to a city — that’s in a totally different country. Maybe, you’re like my friend Tony who moved to Chicago from Omaha, because he saw an improv show there while on a roadtrip. . .and said to himself, yeah, I wanna do that. Seems a bit impulsive to me, but he’s been there for 3 years, gone through two serious girlfriends and recently began grad school in screen writing. So, in summary Road trip = improv show one friday night = moving to Chicago to learn about improv comedy = grad school at Northwestern on scholarship = becoming a professional screenwriter. Not too shabby a projection, eh?

The thing about it, is that if you just focus on doing what you love, more often than not, a few years down the road, you’ll find a way to legitimize it. Make money from it. My friend Becky went to school in Atlanta. When she finished, she knew that she was tired of studying and wanted to live somewhere fun. She liked fashion, so she chose to move to NYC and give it a go. Her first job was at a PR firm that did fashion and beauty marketing. She got tons of free fashion goodies, but it was killing her soul. But. . .she liked the field of marketing she realized. She just wanted to market something that had more substance. What does she do now, 3 years later? She works for the PR firm that works for the Bill Gates Foundation. She’s great at it, she loves New York, and can definitely afford the rent!

Now, that’s not to say that for those of you who know what you want to do — that you should wander for the sake of wandering. As much as I loved it (remember, I turned my choice to disappear to Spain for a year into my ‘other’ job, marketing for a international exchange organization…and I got hired because I’d lived abroad). Oh, honey, you didn’t think I paid my rent by blogging once a week did you? Ohhh boy, we got some work to do!

But I digress. My last example, my friend Blair, worked at the college newspaper with me. She loved newspapers. Loved the way they felt, they way they smelled. And she was great at it. She only applied to newspaper jobs and after an awesome summer internship — got a job working for the Boston Globe’s D.C. office. Guess where she lives now.

So, in summary — three(four if you include me) totally different choices post college and three(four) happy customers. You are not going to keep your first job for the rest of your life. You’ll be rare if you stay there for more than 2 years. So, play a little. Don’t worry about figuring everything out this second — you got puh-lenty of time for that later!

Author My First Apartment
Alissa

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I've lived in apartments in 6 cities (including 2 foreign countries). Does that make me an expert? As of now, my ceiling isn't leaking and I don't have rodents (knock on wood) -- so I'm going to say yes . . . but ask me again tomorrow:) These days, I'm enjoying life Chicago style, but my years in Brooklyn are never far from my mind. P.S. By day I work at Cars.com, but these opinions are totally, 100% my own.

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