Location Vs. Vocation

Screen shot 2013-06-25 at 10.48.02 PMSeattle is a fun city. There’s plenty to do, plenty to see. I like the climate, I like the coffee. So, it’s nice that the job I got is in Seattle. That’s a very different thing to say than “I’m glad I got a job in Seattle.” One puts the emphasis on the job, the other on the place. The truth is I would’ve taken my job regardless of where it was; it’s a writing job and writing is what I like to do. The fact that it’s in Seattle is a bonus.

This wasn’t the approach many of my friends from school took. After graduating, they moved to New York and searched out whatever job they could get to earn a living. For them, the place was the focus. They wanted to be in New York. What they did there to pay rent was secondary.

Neither approach is wrong, nor are the two approaches mutually exclusive. It is possible to a find a job you want in a place you like.

With that being said, it’s important to know your priority: location or vocation. If you’re dead set on working in publishing but can’t find a way in, then not even a beautiful flat in Paris overlooking the Seine is going to make things better. Likewise, if you want to be close your family, then you won’t want to move 3,000 miles away, even if it’s for your dream job.

Consider the different sides. Close your eyes and imagine what you would do if you could do anything. In this image of yourself, what is more prominent: your occupation or your zipcode? Take that; let it inform your professional decisions and drive your job search.

So, what is it for you: place of residence or place of employment? Let us know in the comments!

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