Have you ever heard a piece of advice or nugget of wisdom that was particularly impactful and stuck with you for a long time? If so, tell us so we can have it too.
Tim’s Answer: I actually heard this one from a friend’s father at a group dinner back in college. He said something along the lines of:
When you’re figuring out what to do with your life, I think it’s a mistake to first decide what you want to do and then move to best location to do that thing. Instead, pick the place where you really want to live and go there. Your career will work itself out wherever you go.
Now, years later, looking at my own experiences and those of my friends, this definitely seems right on. A) It’s hard to stay happy for very long if you’re in a place you don’t like—whether because the culture rubs you the wrong way or you’re too far from people you care about or you’re neglecting some yearning to be somewhere else. And B) career paths are twisty and surprising and totally unpredictable anyway, and people never seem to end up where they planned.
Of course, certain professions are tied to one particular location, but most aren’t. So if you’re at a crossroads, and you’ve always wanted to live in San Francisco, but you have a connection that can get you a good job in your home town or somewhere else you feel lackluster about—move to San Francisco with no job. You’ll figure things out when you get there.