Is My Life Better Now than 4 Years Ago?


I’m not necessarily talking about the economy here, just my own life. My personal experiences of life within the past four years. In short: yes


In 2008, I was working as a software developer in New Jersey. In mid-January of 2010 I was laid off from that job. I spent every single day job hunting, there were many openings in the web design/development sector around New Jersey/New York City.

I had several interviews within my second week of unemployment that did not go anywhere. I continued to apply for jobs every day. During the first week of February, I had two interviews and was offered a position by both companies, which turned into a bidding war over salary. While that was going on, I also received two callbacks from companies in NJ but was already set on one of the offers. In the end, I went with the position I thought I would enjoy more and by February 22nd I was working again, full-time as a Web Design/Marketing Admin in Manhattan.

In my time of being laid-off during the last 4 years, I was officially unemployed for 33 days. In that time I had five interviews and when I accepted the new position I was taking on new responsibilities and increasing my salary by $5K/year.

The Second Job Hunt

In November of 2011, after almost two years working for the position I accepted after unemployment, I began enjoying my job less and thought I could be making more money elsewhere. Since I already had a job this time, my hunt was fairly casual. I spent my weekends applying for jobs instead of daily. I was also very picky about the position. Salary, duties, and location (within Manhattan) were my top priorities. There were many job opportunities that I did not even apply to because they were located in Midtown Manhattan or mentioned certain requirements I did not like.

I was finally offered a job during mid-February 2012. I had first interviewed with this company, my current company, in December. I interviewed with a total of three companies but became pretty set on this one. After two more in-person interviews and three phone interviews I was finally offered the position in February (3 months after the first interview). By then I had let up on job hunting since I was sure I wanted this position.

This casual, high-standards job hunt lasted three months. In that time I had three interviews and when I accepted the new position I was hired as a Web Analyst and increased my salary this time by $10K/year.

Financially I am earning $15K/year more than I was four years ago.

Living Expenses

Everything else is difficult to compare. Four years ago I was living in the suburbs of New Jersey. Since then I moved to Manhattan then Brooklyn, in NYC. The costs of living here, in general, are considerably higher than NJ. I am spending more on food and rent but that is because I now live in a very expensive place.

Life Improvements

As a whole, my life has improved over the past four years. Earning more money means I can go to therapy as another way to help organize my life and grow in terms of social interactions and relationships. During that period of unemployment, I finally had time to train for a race and I have ran quite a few half marathons and other races since then. I continue to have time for running, hobbies, and friends now that my current job consists of 8 hours days, instead of working 11 hours like at the last one.

Readers, in what ways has your life changed or improved over the past four years?

If you have thoughts on this and would like to discuss please use Twitter or send me an email.