Most of us have a very precise idea of what we are looking in a job. We shall be honest and admit we look at the location, at the salary, at the benefits and at the vacation. However, it is rarely thought of in this order. The location of your job is not as much as a priority as it used to be when communication with the loved ones was harder. A not so long time ago indeed, texting and calling could turn out to be expensive as the distance was taken into account. The feeling of isolation was stronger without social media to exchange pieces of news and photos on a regular basis. As a consequence to this lack of technology, people were staying closer to their families choosing location over any other criteria in a job. A revolution called Wi-Fi and a crashing economy later, location is now almost overlooked by job seekers. As a result, people tend to be less happy when they go home since they are usually alone in a city that they have no interest in even if they are paid for whatever they are doing there.

This thinking led to believing that working was our first need, a need above personal happiness. Personal happiness being second, it is an amazing opportunity for the employer’s people spend more time at work since no one is waiting at home for them. Working more or harder is a natural reaction to loneliness and emotional despair. In our society, we feel empowered by the sensation of being overbooked, super busy. In other people’s mind, busy and swamped is usually synonymous with successful.

What if they were wrong?

What if you chose where you would like to live and start looking for which company you want to work for once there?

If you are moving from New York, the salary won’t usually be as high but you have to consider the cost of living.

In New York, apartments, cocktails, groceries, public transportation are globally more expensive than anywhere else.

Let’s take Houston as an example. Houston Real Estate is globally 48 percent cheaper than New York, so adjusted to the cost of living, salaries are actually higher in Houston than in New York. In Houston, you could actually live in a nice house while in New York, you would live in the suburbs in a tiny place struggling to pay for your utility bills.

You have to ask yourself: is this the quality of life you are looking for?

The northern snow storms aside that you will also avoid in southern places such as Texas, the groceries prices and the restaurant prices are lower. The point is why are you in places such as New York when you can be in Houston? The local purchasing power is around 20 percent higher in Houston than in New York.

When you live in expensive cities, half of your salary goes to your rent; how can you live comfortably and enjoying this big city? A few restaurants, a theater night and there is nothing left to save at the end of the month. Cities like Houston have also an amazing cultural life that is affordable. You need to get over the preconception that big cities like New York are the only cities livable in the world because they offer bigger salaries. There might be a life for you somewhere else.