Three Year Flashback

I wrote the below paragraph in May 2008, when I was looking for a new job and ready to leave New York. By that August, however, I had accepted a new job in New York (it was the best opportunity that arose during that difficult job market) and my wife and I agreed to commit to New York for a few more years at least. Three years later and I am still at the job I took during that down market and will be transferring to our office in San Francisco. We are finally leaving New York, three years later than I once thought it would be. But staying here has been the right decision and we are excited to be able to move on. What was a stressful and uncertain time in 2008 has become, in retrospect, a great opportunity, both personally and professionally.

___________________

I have reached that point in the past few days when you are ready to just move on. A decision has been made and the rest is just a matter of time. I am ready to leave New York and, provided I can find a job worth moving for, could go wherever I wanted. I can now say that I have lived in New York longer than anywhere else other than where I grew up. I have moved around a lot since 1997 and staying somewhere for four years is a long time for me, regardless of how quickly the time here has passed. But I have had my fun in New York and it is time to move on, personally and professionally. Sure, I’ll miss New York and always will because other large cities in this country are just not the same. The question on my mind, however, is where do we go from here? I am more open than I used to be, but that does not mean I would pick up and move just anywhere. Plus, we are in one of the worst job markets in the past many decades and finding a job may not be such a walk in the park, even with a New York resume. The top cities on my list, believe it or not, are Seattle, Dallas, Chicago and San Francisco. Maybe in that order. I can’t help but think that after living in New York for four years, housing prices everywhere else seem like a steal, as if we are somehow cheating, especially given the recent decline in housing markets across the country. If you could move anywhere, where would you go?

-JAS, May 2008

Simply Incredible

I have walked all over this city. I have driven all over this city. I have taken a train beneath much of this city. And I have flown over the city numerous times. And there is no other way to put it: the architecture and urban planning of New York City is simply incredible. If you can look past the crumbling infrastructure, the dirt and grime and see what man has built on, under and above the island that the indigenous people once called Mannahatta, you will find a spectacular achievement almost unparalleled by any other modern world city. The story of New York City is the story of the United States and is one of the few places that all American citizens should visit. My seven years here will be unlike any I will spend the rest of my life, and although I am looking forward to leaving New York and beginning a new life in some ways, pieces of New York City will never leave me.

On 400 Rejection Letters

I read somewhere once that no one will be successful until they have more than 100 rejection letters as evidence of their effort. Last night, in our effort to rid ourselves of the things we don’t need in connection with our move across the country, I came across my stack of rejection letters that I had kept from my job hunting days of 2006. It was fascinating to remember how much time I spent preparing cover letters, sending emails and piling up the rejection letters. The stack did not include all of the emails I received or a list of all of the firms or companies I never heard from; just the hard copy letters. I would imagine that most of the rejection letters sent today are done so electronically, but as recent as 2005-2006, that was not generally the case, as there was a time I would come home to multiple letters at a time in my mailbox. But I never took the letters personal or let them discourage me despite receiving over 400 or so of them from firms in New York City. As I looked through them last night, I thought of how eager and dedicated I must have been in searching for that first step in what I expected to become a lifelong career. And now, five years later, I get up everyday and go to a job that I could not have anticipated while I was sending out resumes, but I nevertheless enjoy. Funny how life has a way of working out when you keep trying.