My first job out of college was in the city. Location: 200 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago.
I put up with a lot of abusive situations, worked way too many hours each week and in the end, they "let me go" laying off the entire in house graphic design group, just before Christmas with no warning and no time to print portfolio pieces.
From that moment, I decided that working for a company had little to nothing to do with loyalty and decided to freelance. I landed freelance gigs at many of the award winning agencies, some not-so award winning. In those earlier career years, the best freelance opportunities were the ones where I was "subbing" in while someone was on maternity leave. Those were the jobs that had some staying power to last the remainder of my lease to my apartment on the north side of the city.
The morning walks to the el train of four city blocks combined with the crammed train ride would then follow by a possible transfer to another train, several more city blocks of briskly walking to the building I was for hire for the day. After meeting and/or working in more than 30 agencies through the course of my Chicago career, I slowly realized the value of a quick elevator. Some elevators, for example the ones at the Prudential Building would add another 10 minutes to the morning commute. Yes, 10 minutes to go 40 stories. This is terribly slow when you consider the Sears Tower, where I worked on the 74th floor for a few years had an elevator shaft that lifted us in a jiffy, without putting a dint into the commuting time.
From the trot before the el, the waiting on the train, then the ride on the train, to the walk in the loop, plus the elevator trip totaled to an hour, plus or minus some change. In fact, anywhere you lived and worked in the city, it was about an hour commute. For those who lived in the burbs, add 15 minutes to the commute with every $50K saved in home mortgages. The longer the commute, the more affordable the homes were. Best case scenario is an hour morning commute, with another hour on the commute home.
That is two hours of a rat race. Nothing like my commute today. Since relocating my company to rural Indiana, I now can boast of handfuls of improvements in my quality of life for my family and me. For starters, I have my own stunning office space that I couldn't have dreamed working out of, let alone owning in Chicago or nearby. It is hard to believe that my first job was at 200 South Michigan Avenue in Chicago and now, I am the owner of a creative agency and online media publishing business at 200 North Michigan Street in Plymouth, Indiana.
I have more to share on this topic in blog posts to follow.
In the mean time, I must share a post from Small Business Trends that inspired me to finally get this blog topic down and out...
It is about rural-sourcing and it is a topic that has been on my mind a lot. To read it come from someone else other than just my own vision and rants is very inspiring to me. I would love to hear more from others on your thoughts on this topic!
Photo credits: Amanda Nicolé Doty