Why I Wouldn’t Enjoy Hattiesburg

Mike Taber takes a good look at the questions I posed in my post The Next Frontier in Offshoring. I especially liked this comment:

“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.

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2 comments ↓

#1 http:// on 03.11.07 at 4:38 pm

When considering the professional side of things, I couldn’t agree more. That’s why I live in Porto Alegre, one of the major cities in Brazil. I was born in a not so small city, around 160.000 inhabitants. I really like it there, without the daily craze, and for that matter, many other smaller towns in the southern region. The *only* thing that prevents me from going to live in one of this smaller towns is the fact that I know I wouldn’t be able to find a job nearly as interesting as the one I have now. Mind you, I’m not building any rockets here, but it is something that is both challeging and rewarding, for the most part. But in the end, I know I won’t live here to the end of my days. One can only hope someday I’ll get a nice job and be able to work from home, or something, and then be able to get the best of both worlds.

#2 http:// on 03.12.07 at 6:24 pm

I’m one of those corporate developers in a mid-sized firm. I live in a town of 25.000 people and really I only go to the big city/head office for meetings and social activities. I think this is a growing tendency in our business, live anywhere, work anywhere… as long as you get the job done. The truth of the matter is, I get a lot more done in my home office than elsewhere in spite of not having an electric table, whiteboard etc.