Best Cities for Recent Grads

July 22, 2014

So, you just graduated from college? Now what? For many recent grads, the transition from the college campus to the workplace can be  complicated by a number of factors including having to move for a job and navigate the maze of meeting new friends.

If you’re looking for the best place to start your career, where you will have a good chance of experiencing happiness both in and out of the workplace, check out these options.

CareerBliss measured the responses of more than 45,000 young professionals with less than 10 years of experience in their careers to see where the happiest among them were living.  Work-life balance, compensation, job control and growth opportunities were all factored into the equation.  Here were the results:

1.       San Jose, California

2.       San Francisco, California

3.       Washington, D.C.

4.        Chicago, Illinois

5.       San Diego, California

6.       Riverside, California

7.       Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

8.       Houston, Texas

9.       Phoenix, Arizona

10.   Boston, Massachusetts

Now that you know where you can go to surround yourself with happy peers, what’s the best way to meet friends in your newfound town? Try some (or all) of these ways to meet new people.

1. Go to work – More than one-third of married couples said they met at work. Since most of us spend at least 8 hours  (if not more) at work, it makes sense that we often make both romantic and platonic friendships through our co-workers and their sphere of friends.

2.  Join a Meetup group – Whether you like to run, drink, bowl or play video games, chances are there is a Meetup group in your city that you can join to find people who love doing what you do.

3. Connect with your alumni – Most colleges and universities have alumni networks scattered across the US. Check with your school or go online and see if there is a cohort of past students and graduates who meet regularly to socialize in your area.

4. Get back into the classroom – Want to learn the guitar, ballroom dancing or Japanese? Sign up for a class and learn a new skill while meeting new people.

5. Network – Local business chambers often host special events for young professionals in their cities. Get on the email list and when the next one rolls around, sign up and start mingling.

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/katerha/