How do I pick a city to live in after college?
One of the hardest things for people to do is to pick a location for their work. It’s easy to get sucked into a big city, because that’s where most of the jobs are (simple math — more people = more opportunity).
But more opportunity doesn’t mean better opportunity. It’s not a coincidence that cities like New York and San Francisco have some of the most abysmal happiness levels in the United States. Plus — with the advent of remote working opportunities, you could truly work from anywhere.
One of the most important factors to consider in choosing a city is the cost of living. People often don’t realize just how big the differences between cities is.
For example — if you use this calculator — you’ll find that making $100,00 in New York (Manhattan) is effectively the same as making $39,000 in Richmond, Virginia. This is important when you’re making salary considerations from city to city — don’t always chase the biggest number.
Once you’ve squared away cost of living, the rest of the factors to consider are more personal. Do you like big cities or small cities? Do you prefer to have easy access to the outdoors? What about food culture? Do you want a long commute? Meetup groups? Hobbies? Nightlife? The list goes on and on.
There are a variety of tools that exist online to help people start to sort through their preferences. Here are a few that we like:
- Teleport — input salary to get suggestions on cities that match you
- Nomad List — Lists built by a community of remote workers
From there — it’s really just important to start considering the various elements that matter to you — and maybe even building a values list similar to the one that we suggest for your job.
Here are a few articles to jumpstart your thinking: