January 12th, 2013
As I have started applying for jobs, the two most important and only things that are governing my job search is, the kind of work and location. To me, location is very important. I prefer living in larger cities. If it is a small city, I prefer it being close to a large city. Then I want to live somewhere that is not snowed in most of the year. I hate being cold, having to spend 30 minutes heating up my car and scrapping off the ice before I take out the car every time. Then, I will prefer living along the coast, east or west. I would really prefer not to live in the middle of the country, amidst corn fields and all. Proximity to the mountain or the sea is an added plus. Talking about proximity, a local airport nearby is a real must. Ask me about the pain of asking people for airport rides, especially if they are more than an hour away. You will be amazed that as a professional, how much connectivity to other places is important. It helps if the place is pretty, and has a lot of history, rolling fields, and pretty locations nearby. Most importantly, I want to live in a place where I can connect to the people around me. Being a single woman in a foreign country, thousands of miles away from family, I take my location very seriously. You see, I am not really looking for an area flooded with Indians, people like me. I don’t crave for the bay area in California or Chicago for the same reason. But having an Indian grocery store nearby doesn’t hurt. Having a nearby place to be able to order Biryani doesn’t hurt either. It will be nice to live somewhere I can cultivate my hobbies, being able to have writing groups, photography clubs, or hiking groups. And having my favorite stores (Macy’s, Trader Joe’s, Ikea, etc.) at least 1-2 hours away may not hurt.
You must be wondering what is wrong with me. In this shitty economy, it is a blessing to have a job, and beggars should not be choosers. I agree. However, work is a part of my life, it is not my entire life. There are some 12-15 hours in my daily life when I do not work. To ensure that I am efficient at my job, it is very important that I am mentally happy during the rest of the day. I know that my class cohort is applying to every possible job, and will leave no stone unturned, willing to relocate anywhere. However, this is a risk I am willing to take. I have done it in the past, and I am doing it again. After all, you just need one acceptance offer at the end of the day. I did not go to Ann Arbor (being a top ranking school) because it is extremely cold in winters, and I did have an offer from another equally ranked school. A few years later, I did not go to Bloomington for the same reason. I have taken risks based on locations, and I have been lucky so far. Even now, I am not applying to places like Greeley, Pullman, and Murfreesboro (despite job openings) because I don’t see myself living in these places. Well, I wouldn’t say never because you never know, but given a choice, I would like to live in more well known and well connected places. Some of these places I haven’t even heard of. I don’t want to be stranded in the middle of nowhere, hundreds of miles away from my friends. It’s about safety, but it is also largely about mental well being. Taking anti-depressants will be the last thing on my agenda ever. Some of my friends think that I am crazy, but then, it is about me, and not about them.
In life, it is very important to know what is it that you want. And even if you don’t know that, it might be important to figure out what is it that you definitely don’t want. God, I just want some luck.