Posted by Mary Ann Kelly
Next in our series of New Yorkers that have left and lived to tell about it is Austin, TX. Not just the state capital, but the “live music capital of the world” with more than 250 music venues!
This week we hear from Tom McAdams Senior Digital Strategist at T3, who moved to Austin 2 years ago.
MAK: What drove your decision to relocate?
TM: There were lot of reasons. Austin is a growing city with lower taxes, a booming tech sector and a lot of support for entrepreneurs. Since I want to start my own marketing company one day, Austin felt like a perfect place to call home. Of course, there was also a desire for a change of pace away from the unstoppable grind of New York.
MAK: What would you say is the biggest difference between NYC and Austin?
TM: I think the staying “Work Hard, Play Hard” applies to NYC, while in Austin I think it’s more aligned to “Work Hard, Relax Hard.” The amount of open space and the active nature of the town — not to mention the weather! — lends itself to a lot more outdoor activity year-round.
MAK: What do you love about your new place and what do you miss about NYC? Will you ever be back?
TM: I miss my network of friends in NYC and the feeling that you’re part of something big… the indescribable feeling of simply surviving in NYC. But Austin makes you feel at home pretty quickly. So many people are new here, and everyone’s looking to make new friends.
I’ll be back to visit NYC, but probably not to live any time soon.
MAK: Did you move with or without a job? What’s your advice to people hoping for relocation?
TM: I moved without a job after subletting less expensive apartments in NYC to save enough money to give the job search a go in Austin. Ideally, I would have preferred to move with a job, but that’s not how the cookie crumbled. My advice would be to save as much as you can, so that when you make the move without a job, you’re not forced to take a position you don’t truly love.
MAK: Is the pace/agency life significantly different? If yes, how so?
TM: The pace is definitely a little less intense than in NYC. There seems to be a bigger focus on work/life balance here, especially since it feels like a much higher percentage of the employees have children. We still work late and have to meet deadlines for clients from across the country, but a little more of the work takes place at home, rather than posting up at the office. It’s not uncommon to see the office be almost full at 9am, and almost empty at 6pm.
MAK: In Eat Prey Love, the main character comes up with one word to describe each city she’s lived in. What’s yours for NYC & your new city?