I took a job in a big city, but am always on business trips, which makes it difficult to build a close circle of friends. I want to go back to my hometown where I have many good friends. However, my current boss is great to me, and I can see the bright future here. I'm not sure what to do. Should I return to my hometown or stay where I am and continue my current job?
Zhishang Career Expert Answer：
Actually, over my career, I've lived in 8-9 cities, including Philadelphia, L.A., Boston, Taipei, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing. In my experience, every place has good people and people with similar interests and backgrounds as you. Even if you're a small town person who doesn’t relate to big city people, you can find others like you and make new friends wherever you go. You just have to put the effort into meeting them.
My advice to you as a younger person is that it's worth taking this time to invest in your future. Bigger city situations are more professional and mature, and the quality of your experience and opportunities are better overall. This is also the time in your life when you should be more adventurous and open to try new things.
Trust me, the better foundation you build today, the better your ability to pursue a good career and future for yourself. As your career and life develops, you learn the value of having good options to choose from. With stronger capabilities and achievements, you can then decide later on if you want to live and work in a smaller or bigger city, or even overseas.
And from personal experience, you’ll be surprised where you may end up. It may even be in a bigger city. The longer you stay somewhere, the more familiar you become with that place. You get to know more people and things get easier for you. For instance, I’m from the U.S. I can tell you that I could have never predicted that I’d spend 25 years (and counting) living in China (and loving it)!
Your hometown friends will be there whenever you want to go back and see them. And with technology today, it’s much easier to remain close to people who are far away than before. So I encourage you to stay where you are a little longer, where you’re learning a lot, have a good boss, and see a bright future. The fact is, if you go back to your hometown now, you’ll have fewer options tomorrow. In 3-4 years, will you even be competitive in a bigger city, even if you wanted to go back again? I guarantee you, it’ll definitely be more difficult.