I recently ran across an article titled, “The CareerBliss 2019 Happiest and Unhappiest Cities to Work”. I know, I know, it’s a total clickbait title. But I must admit there can be some value even in clickbait titles, so I checked it out. While the actual list didn’t surprise me, my takeaway from the article was worth consideration.
I learned a long time ago that where I live is just as important as the work I’m doing. When we first moved to Fort Lauderdale, I had never been there. All I knew was what I had seen on the TV show “Cops”. I hate to say it, but that’s not a ringing endorsement to move there. But I took the job anyway and I really enjoyed living in South Florida.
But sometimes we don’t put enough emphasis on the connection between where we work and where we live. You can have a fabulous job but if you live in a crappy city, how fabulous is your life really? That being said, a couple of things to keep in mind here.
- You have to define what makes a city wonderful or terrible. Everyone has different criteria for what makes a city special to them. You guys know that Mr. Bartender and I recently moved to North Florida. Neither one of us had ever lived there, so we came up with a list of what was important to us and used that as part of our research. The point being, when you’re not working, you have to spend time in the city where you live. Are you happy with it? And I don’t know that the only answer can be “Yes, because I have a job there.” Which leads us to the second consideration.
- You also must decide what makes your job wonderful or not-so wonderful. Just like where we live, each of us has criteria for our jobs – the things we respect in an employer, the salary and benefits we would like to receive, the people that we want to be our co-workers, the manager we’d like to have, etc. None of us have the same criteria, which is why employers struggle at times putting together an employee value proposition (EVP). Because each individual’s needs and wants are different. AND take into account where the business is located.
My point is this – lists like the one I mentioned in the opening paragraph – are reminders that jobs involve more than just the tasks employees are responsible for. Organizations need to think about the work environment, which includes where the job is located. And if the employee has family, what the employee’s family thinks about where they live is equally important. When we relocated to Cincinnati, my boss made sure that Mr. B was happy with the decision as well. She didn’t have to do that. But she understood the importance of it.
In addition, the work / life connection could spark discussions about whether the job can be successful as remote work, which can open up the candidate pool. Or giving current employees the ability to live someplace that is wonderful (to them) while also doing a job they enjoy. I understand that not every job is eligible for remote work, and that might need to be addressed in a different way. Especially if an organization is having challenges hiring and retaining talent.
Bottom-line: Organizations must remember there’s a connection between work and life. And if possible, start thinking about how to showcase the city where the employee will live in addition to the company culture.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while exploring the streets of Gainesville, FL looking for tea, not coffee.15