Where do the Happiest Young Pros Live?

When I was in college, I used to think about where I could live and work that would make me the happiest.

San Francisco was always number one on my list, but I also often wondered what other places would make me happy as I started my career. I eventually ended up in SF and I am really happy here, but when I saw a Forbes article about the 20 happiest cities for young professionals, I had to find out who made the list and if my city was on it.

It was, number 9. The full list is as follows;

1. Los Angeles, CA

2. San Jose, CA

3. Sunnyvale, CA

4. Indianapolis, IN

5. San Diego, CA

6. Irvine, CA

7. Atlanta, GA

8. Boston, MA

9. San Francisco, CA

10. San Antonio, TX

11. Las Vegas, NV

12. Seattle, WA

13. Irving, TX

14. Philadelphia, PA

15. Orlando, FL

16. Pittsburgh, PA

17. New York, NY

18. Plano, TX

19. Miami, FL

20. Houston, TX

The list was compiled by a career site called CareerBliss.com, who conducted an analysis of young pros who were asked to rate 10 key factors affecting workplace happiness, including work-life balance, relationships with their boss and co-workers, compensation, growth opportunities, company culture and company reputation.

According to Forbes, the analysis used a five-point scale and asked respondents to indicate how important it was to their overall happiness at work. The numbers were combined to find an average rating of overall happiness for each individual, and then sorted by location to find which cities had the happiest young pros.

It’s easy to think if you moved to one of these cities as a young pro you would be happier automatically. However, on closer inspection of this article, it seems young pros are happiest in the places that provide them with the best resources for their current career path and lifestyle choices.

For instance, L.A., #1 on the list, is home to Hollywood, major corporations and many prestigious universities. It also boasts jobs in multiple emerging growth and interesting markets, like entertainment, technology, marketing, healthcare and sales, and also has great weather and endless fun things to do. If your career path and lifestyle could benefit from those things, I can see why a young pro would be happy there. But if L.A. doesn’t offer you anything besides a constant tan and an occasional star sighting, you may want to reconsider where will make you the happiest to live and work.

As a young pro or recent grad starting to look for a career, consider places that cater to your lifestyle and career needs. Look at why people are happy in a place you want to move for a job and then decide if it can offer what you need to get to your professional happy place.

Which City Makes/Made You the Happiest as a Young Pro?


3 thoughts on “Where do the Happiest Young Pros Live?

  1. You got to love those 5 point surveys and the generic results they present. I work in the 13th happiest place apparantly, but assuming that all work places here have good managers and work/life balance, is a bit overreaching.
    Finding your passion and a company that can support that is everything. Working for a small or large company each have their advantages. I think that having a more experienced person who is not emotionally involved with you can be very helpful, a mentor that can guide you and provide insight into areas yet to be experienced.

    1. Great point about mentors! Such a key thing for career happiness and success. Thanks for your thoughts!

  2. Young pros should think more about building their resumes and getting related experiences, forming networks and relationships in the first few years into their career and focus less on location. If they happen to get both great, but establishing a firm foundation early in their career (no matter the location) will pay off big time in terms of future opportunities and “happier” places to work, live and play. Where the hell is Piano and Irving Texas anyway?

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