Here’s What To Do If Your Dream Job Isn’t In Your Dream City

Alyssa Greenfield
Here’s What To Do If Your Dream Job Isn’t In Your Dream City
Sponsored by, OppenheimerFunds

When it comes to your dream job, which of the following statements is true?

A. To work in finance I need to live in New York City.
B. To work in tech, I need to live in San Francisco.
C. To work in politics, I need to live in DC.
D. To work in health care, I need to live in Boston.
E. None of the above

The answer? None of the above.

Don’t get us wrong, these cities do have plenty of jobs in their respective industries. However, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to pack up your life and move to a new place just to find your dream job.

We promise.

To bring some clarity to this dream job/dream city struggle, we talked to the team at top financial services company OppenheimerFunds. They have an office in Denver, Colorado (in addition to New York City). Last we checked, Denver is 1,795 miles from Wall Street—the country’s undisputed finance hub.

But distance from New York City isn’t the only thing that makes them qualified to share advice. The company’s Denver-based team didn’t want to give up that mountain lifestyle to pursue amazing careers in finance and tech. And they made sure they didn’t have to. Here’s their top advice for getting the best of both worlds.

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 1. Consider the importance of lifestyle in your job search.

Facing your fears of living in a big city can be a character-building experience, but it’s not for everyone. While super important, your actual job description is not the only factor you should consider before accepting an offer. Take some time to get honest with yourself about what it takes for you to thrive, both inside and outside the office.

Are you okay with the closest thing to nature being a city park, or do you need the chance to easily and quickly escape to the mountains when the end of the workday rolls around? Do you want to take public transportation every day, or do you feel like something’s missing without your car? Do you need to be surrounded by people who seem to move a mile a minute, or does that fast pace of life stress you out?

Asking questions like these will help you determine where to start your search.

2. Think beyond the obvious options.

Regardless of your major and the field you have your sights set on, there are probably a handful of companies you associate with that industry. Those companies may or may not be located in the place you want to live.

But here’s the thing: There are likely also dozens of other companies that need someone with your background and skills that ARE located where you want to be.

For example, most organizations need finance, marketing, sales, and IT team members to function, even if that’s not what you first think of. Keep an open mind and you could find the perfect job right where you want to call home.

Thinking beyond the obvious goes for locations, too. Maybe a big city isn’t the right fit, but there are probably more locations that fit the lifestyle you’re after than you realize. Plus, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone even just a little bit can be huge for personal and professional growth.

3. Talk to people who’ve made it work.

No matter the field or the location, getting an insider’s perspective can go a long way—and give you the job-search boost you need. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people you look up to from both a job and geography standpoint. Ask them to chat on the phone or to grab a cup of coffee and get their take on the job scene where they live. Just make sure you’ve prepared thoughtful, specific questions to ask them. You can also check out local professional meet-up groups to network with people in your field.

It’s easy to feel like you’re not in the “heart” of your field when you don’t go where the majority of jobs are. But talking to someone (or lots of people) who are thriving in their roles should put any hesitations to rest—and give you access to some insider knowledge that’ll help you land your dream job.

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4. Explore companies with more than one office location.

Maybe you’re not totally ready to live in New York City or San Francisco, but you still want a taste of what it’s like to work there. It IS possible to get the best of both worlds. Case in point: OppenheimerFunds has offices in Denver, NYC, Rochester, London, Dallas, and Seattle.

Everyone across all locations is working for the same company and toward the same overall goals. You may even get the chance to work on projects with team members in those other locations. (Did someone say business trip?) Having the opportunity to travel for work isn’t only great for the airline points, but it allows you to interact with different types of people and visit new cities!

The bottom line: It can feel daunting when your career aspirations don’t match the living situation you had in mind. However, this is one of those cases where you CAN have it all. You just need to put in the research, make those connections, and keep an open mind. No cross-country move necessary.

Ready to explore OppenheimerFunds career options across the country? They’re hiring on WayUp, so explore their open positions now!


OppenheimerFunds is a leading global asset manager dedicated to serving the diverse needs of our clients that range from institutions to financial advisors to individual investors.