New York is not for the faint of heart. I mean, I sometimes I stop and think, why exactly am I making all these sacrifices to live in this city? Sure there’s great people, great food, amazing culture unrivaled by any other US city, and fantastic scenery. In other words, there’s just so much to do in New York. It’s hard to get bored and it’s hard to get lonely. If you’re lonely in New York city, that just tells me you’re living under a rock. But really though, why move to New York? Is it really worth making all these sacrifices just so you can say you live in New York? What trade offs are we talking here?
I moved to New York because of a couple of reasons. And it’s more likely than not that you’re considering moving to New York or are in New York for the same reasons.
- I wanted to work in either tech, fashion, or finance. Seriously, what other city can boast that they are a hub for all these major industries? Oh yeah, that’s right. Nothing.
- I wanted to be in a truly diverse culture. New York, in my opinion, is the most melted social environment that I’ve ever experienced. Black, white, Puerto Rican, Chinese… The list keeps going on. They’re all here.
- I want to succeed among the bests. I want to challenge myself and compete with the best.
You should move to New York if…
You’re willing make your career a priority
This sounds bad and might be construed as something not good, but when you move to New York, realize that the competition just tripled. The talent that the city attracts is amazing. And if you think that you’re just a number in the city, you’re probably right. Unless you’re already the CEO of a midwest oil company expanding operations to the east coast to take advantage of European business opportunities, then you’re not yet really a significant contributor to the city. Sucks, but that’s the reality. I’ve met Merrill Lynch employees who are working entry level, graduates of top schools like University of Virginia, George Washington University, and University of Michigan, who are working menial, low-paying jobs that don’t really need a college degree either as a way to supplement their pay or because they just can’t get any work. Tough is an understatement. You will get kicked in the gut left and right, but you’ve got to keep pushing. Eventually, though, as I’ve learned, you’ll start picking things up and life will slowly get better. It’s a learning curve, so pick it up fast.
You want to be the best
When you’re bruised and battered from all hardships, just remember that it’s all part of the ride. Because when you’ve reached your destination, you’ll smile and realizing that the past was the best thing you never want to do again. I think I’ve emphasized enough how competitive New York city is. That 3.8 GPA that you have from Yale? Impressive but there’s 100 others like you. It’s always good to keep aiming to be the best and I think New York is the best of the best. Chances are, you won’t be the best in your field. But at least that way, when you fall short of your goal, you’re still able to achieve something remarkable. That’s what I like about New York – the best are the Michael Bloombergs, the Justin Timberlakes, and the Stephen Schwarzmans but those who fall short of being the best are still managing partners at Goldman, or founded some small tech company that raised a $4 million round of funding.
You value having a social life
I just realized, when I moved to New York, that the 40-hour workweek is almost non-existent. Most, if not all of my peers are working anywhere from 50 hours – 100 hours a week. The average being around 60 hours a week. Despite such long hours, people here are still able to have time to hang out with friends and socialize. Working 60 hours/week is going to burn you out pretty quick. And thus, you’ll need time to let loose and enjoy a bit. Especially if you’re like me, 22, single, male. Guy like myself have party as our middle name. You’ll never be lonely in New York. You will easily find people you’re can relate with and find friends pretty easily. It’s expensive though and you’re going to learn that the moment you step foot here. Pre-gaming will be a common term in your vocabulary.
If you can’t make sacrifices, you won’t make it in New York. Heck, you won’t even be able to get here. Sacrifices are tough but it’s also a way to weed out all the incompetent people. Case in point – I lived out of an air mattress for the first 5 weeks when I got here and I’m still trying to find a place to live. Like I said, it’s really tough, but when you see value and progression in what you’re doing, then it’s worth it. If you’re 22, young, single, with no kids – take the leap. This is the only time in your life where you can take risks and get away with it.