“I lived in Rochester, NY for a very long time and quickly became what I would call a big fish in a little pond. I was great at what I did, but finding a new job that I was interested in was next to impossible.”
My wife and I have talked several time about moving out of a major city and into a smaller one, but I have a hard time believing I would be able to find the type of work I need to keep me excited, especially since I’m no longer satisifed to be a corporate programmer in a dark cubicle. How much room is there for a young technology hotshot in a town of 50,000 (the population of Hattiesburg)?
For some people the small city set-up is great. People who want a nice family-oriented lifestyle, low cost of living, and don’t necessarily get a ton of enjoyment or anxiety out of their work, could be forever happy with a small city/town lifestyle. I have a number of friends who fit this description, and I could see them moving to a place like Hattiesburg or Rochester. Honestly, I often wish I were one of those people.
And then there are those who have what I call a “divine restlessness.” It’s the blessing and curse that makes certain people have to strive for achievement and be constantly learning to stay interested, entertained, and happy in work work and in life. I am definitely afflicted with the latter, and thus smaller-city life is probably not for me.
When it comes down to it, small city life vs. big city life is a matter of taste. And the key to staying happy with your career is to know your own taste beyond the shadow of a doubt.