Working and Living in New York: 10 Best Companies to Work For

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Working and Living in New York: 10 Best Companies to Work For

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Relocating for a career can be overwhelming. Not only do you have to start a new job, but you also have to make yourself at home in a new city. As America’s most populated city, New York City is full of exciting career opportunities, and plenty of things to do. If you’re considering a career that would require a move to New York City, it’s not uncommon to have some reservations. But with the right preparation, you can adjust quickly and make the most out of your new life. Read on to learn more about living and working in New York.  

What to Know Before Moving to the Big Apple 

New York City is known as “the city that never sleeps,” and for good reason. No matter what time it is, there’s always something going on. It’s a good idea to take the advice of locals to get to know the basics like where to live, where to shop, how to get around, and how to spend your free time. With a population of over eight million, New York City is made up of five boroughs. And each borough has dozens of neighborhoods, each with its own character. Below, we’ll take a look at each of the boroughs, and the pros and cons of living in the Big Apple. 

The Boroughs

Manhattan is usually thought of as the most famous borough and includes many of the things that NYC is famous for. Including Broadway, Central Park, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York Stock Exchange, Times Square Chinatown, and more. Many businesses have offices in Manhattan, and its population of around 1.6 million people nearly doubles during working hours. Brooklyn is the most populated borough and includes popular neighborhoods like Williamsburg. Which is home to a thriving art and music scene. 

The largest borough by area is Queens, which is located east of Brooklyn on Long Island. Queens is home to both John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport, and also houses the New York Mets baseball team. The northernmost borough is known as the Bronx. Which is famous as one of the birthplaces of hip-hop music, and home to the New York Yankees. The Bronx is rich in diversity and culture. Finally, the smallest and arguably most suburban borough is Staten Island.

The Pros of Living in NYC

Wondering what’s great about living in New York City? The list goes on, but here are a few of the highlights:

  • Culture and diversity – You can get a taste of nearly any culture you can imagine in NYC. While Chinatown is a famous destination, don’t miss Little India, Koreatown, Little Italy, and more. No wonder they call it a melting pot!
  • The art scene – You could spend weeks exploring all the museums and galleries that New York has to offer. And if museums aren’t your thing, check out the endless live music, fashion, libraries, or theater performances.
  • A foodie’s paradise – NYC is known for a few special cuisines. Bagels, delis, and pizza joints are always at the top of people’s minds when they think of NYC. But you can really get any dish you could ever dream of. Whether you want to grab some street food or dine on extravagant courses at a Michelin-star restaurant, you’re in luck. 
  • Public transit – Getting around New York is a breeze with its effective network of buses, subways, and trains. You can get where you need to be quickly without having to worry about navigating the crowded streets in your own car. 

Of course, there are many more great things about living in the Big Apple. Just ask a New Yorker what they love about their home, and you’ll likely have them talking for hours.  

The Drawbacks of Living in NYC

While New York City is loaded with culture, excitement, and opportunities, there are a few cons to living there. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • The cost – New York City is widely considered the most expensive US city to live in. Though that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to find affordable housing if you know where to look. 
  • Crime – NYC, like most densely-populated urban areas, tends to have a higher rate of crime than rural and suburban areas. It’s important to recognize, though, that the crime rate in NYC has been on a relatively steady decline since the 1990s. And is lower than many other East Coast cities, like Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington DC. 
  • It’s crowded – Again, this usually comes standard in many urban areas. But if you like open space, NYC may not be the place for you. With crowds undoubtedly comes noise, trash, and more. It’s a good thing this city is known for its beautiful parks. 
  • Schooling – If you have kids, New York public schools can be a hit or miss. It’s important to research the local schools before you decide on a neighborhood. 

Because the city is so huge and diverse, you’ll find plenty of safe, affordable places to live. Moving to NYC requires a lot of research, and you should always visit at least once before making the move.

The Cost of Living in New York City

As mentioned above, living in New York City can be expensive. In fact, it’s ranked as the most expensive big city in the US. But what is the cost of living in NYC, and how does it compare to the national average? According to the latest census data on New York, the median income for an individual is just over $34,000. While this average climbs to just under $40,000 in New York City. This means that people who live in NYC make more. But does this increase in income make up for the extra living expenses?

A woman walking in New York City, enjoying the skyline at dusk.

How Much Does it Cost to Rent an Apartment in NYC?

The average rent in the US is just around $1,500, while the average rent in NYC is double that. If you’re looking for a one-bedroom apartment, it absolutely depends on what neighborhood you’re looking at. In some areas, you may be able to find a place for around $1,700. While other, more trendy, centrally-located neighborhoods may average around $5,000 for a single-bedroom place.

Where is the Cheapest Place to Live in New York City?

The Bronx is the cheapest of the five boroughs in NYC. Though it’s also lacking the gentrification that Brooklyn and Queens are known for. This means that you can find extremely affordable housing (by NYC standards). But your neighborhood may not have all the amenities you’re looking for. Luckily with New York’s efficient public transit, you get from the Bronx to the heart of Manhattan or the trendiest parts of Brooklyn in under an hour.

What are Other Costs to Consider?

While rent tends to be high in the city, there are a few factors that make up for this. For example, you can rely on public transit instead of a personal car, which will save money on gas and insurance. In addition, other costs, like internet, electricity, gas, and other utilities are about standard compared to other US cities. With an abundance of grocery stores, including ethnic spots, New Yorkers tend to pay less than average for groceries.

New Yorkers Give Advice on Living in the City

When it comes to living in New York, trust the locals! New Yorkers are happy to give advice to newcomers about the best places to shop, the best places to rent, and where to find everything you need. It’s a great idea to get out there, walk around, and see what’s available in your neighborhood while meeting your neighbors. Visit different areas in your time off, and get a true feel for the city and the people who call it home.

Is New York City a Good Place to Live?

Most people agree that living in New York City is amazing. It’s significantly safer than living in other large US cities. And you have access to a huge amount of world-class food, entertainment, and culture. If you are comfortable living in an urban area and find that you love getting out and about (rather than being cooped up in a small apartment) New York is perfect for you. From the diversity of the Bronx to the hustle and bustle of midtown Manhattan, New York has something to offer nearly everyone.

Do you Need a Car to Live in New York City? 

With such a stellar subway system at your fingertips, you can ditch the car when living in New York City. The subway is cheap, fast, and efficient. With trains arriving and departing every few minutes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When you don’t need to have a car, you can save on many of the expenses of car ownership.

Why New Yorkers are the Happiest

New Yorkers love their city and will proudly stand by it even in tough times. It won’t take long for a new resident to feel that pride and get a sense that New York is home. New Yorkers are happy because they can live, work, and play in one of the most exciting cities in the world!

What Can You do in New York? 

So once you call New York home, how do you live like a local? How about a picnic in Central Park? Even if you aren’t a fan of theater, you can’t live in the city without visiting Broadway at least once. And like any local, it’s time to locate some favorite eateries and hang-out spots. Don’t limit yourself. Try new things and adventure out of your comfort zone!

A view of sunny Central Park in New York City.

Why are New Yorkers so Happy? 

So you’ve been offered the job of your dreams in NYC, but you’re still wondering if New York is really the place for you. Take it from lifelong New Yorker, Robert De Niro: “I go to Paris, I go to London, I go to Rome, and I always say, ‘There’s no place like New York. It’s the most exciting city in the world now. That’s the way it is.'”

Living in New York: It’s the Place to Be!

It’s easy to see why New York City is such a popular place to live and work. From food to entertainment, to culture, it really is the best of the best. But remember, NYC is a huge city. Before you make the move to the Big Apple, check out a few different neighborhoods to find one that fits your needs. Get a feel for the people, the public transportation, and the amenities each neighborhood has to offer before you call one home. 

Finding a Job in New York City

New York City really is a land of opportunities. Millions of people head to the city to clock in every day. And people come from all over the world looking to make it in the Big Apple. Working in New York can be both thrilling and stressful, but overall, it’s bound to be a rewarding experience. When you’re looking for a job in New York City, you’ll be competing against dozens or even hundreds of applicants for each position. Some industries, like tech, finance, as well as media are booming in the city. But this means that you’ll be facing a lot of competition when looking for a job. The key to finding a job in New York City is persistence. Don’t give up! The average job search takes about nine weeks, so be patient. 

Is it Hard to Get a Job in New York? 

There are thousands of job opportunities in New York right now. This means that nearly anyone can find employment in the city. Finding a career that you love and is in your field, however, might be a little trickier. In many cases, it depends on how in-demand your industry and desired position are. Dedicate as much time as you are able and applying to as many jobs as possible. The truth is, you may not be able to land your dream job on the first try. But your first job in New York City will allow you to establish yourself, make connections, network with the right people, as well as build your experience.

How to Find a Job in New York

If you are able, dedicate yourself to looking for jobs full-time. Apply for positions that relate to what you’re looking for. Attend networking events and make sure everyone in your network knows you’re looking for a job. Use social media like LinkedIn to connect with headhunters, and meet up with connections whenever possible. You never know which connection you make may have a lead on a job. It can also be helpful to connect with your university’s alumni network. Many alumni associations have chapters in NYC, and the people in these networks may be able to introduce you to the right people. 

Best Places to Work in New York City

Most people who imagine working in New York City picture working in a skyscraper in Midtown or Lower Manhattan. But Downtown Brooklyn has the third largest central business district in the US, and plenty of businesses call Queens, the Bronx, as well as Staten Island home. With hundreds of thousands of businesses operating in New York City, it’s important to research employers to find the right one for you.

People going to work, walking across the crosswalk in NYC.

The best places to work in New York City will offer a great salary, enticing benefits, as well as a good work-life balance. Just because the job market is competitive in New York City doesn’t mean you have to take a job that will make you unhappy.

Best Companies to Work for in New York

Wondering about the best companies to work for in New York? We've compiled a few options here to make it easy to narrow down your choices:

  • Merck - As one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, Merck is a leader in innovative medical solutions. At 70,000 employees strong, Merck offers top-tier benefits as well as pay to attract the best talent.
  • American Express - This famous credit card company offers lots of growth to their employees. They're always looking for the best project managers as well as software developers to help the company grow.
  • Travelers - Travelers Insurance is known for its diverse workplace and competitive pay. Insurance companies like Travelers need skilled customer service representatives to help their customers navigate their products as well as find the solutions they need.
  • Wegmans Food Markets - Wegmans is one of the East Coast's favorite grocery stores, and for good reason. They offer a shopping experience like no other, thanks in part to marketing coordinators who focus on creating a great experience as well as bringing in more customers.

This is just a sample of the many companies that will help you advance your career in New York City!

What Jobs are in High Demand in New York Right Now?

Want to get a job in New York City as quickly as possible? Here are some of the most in-demand jobs:

  1. Tracer - If you're looking to get hired quickly, a job as a tracer might be perfect. Tracing involves locating people who've tested positive or may have been exposed to COVID-19. After locating them, your duty is to ask them to safely isolate themselves from other people until they are no longer at risk of spreading the virus.
  2. Marketing Coordinator - Marketing is important for businesses in all industries. A marketing coordinator makes sure that a company's message is getting out to the right people so that the company can continue to grow. 
  3. Summer Internship - Internships are available in nearly every industry. If you want to get a taste of living and working in NYC, a summer internship is a great opportunity. 
  4. Finance Intern - The financial industry is one of the most competitive in NYC. So, if you want to get a job in this industry, you may need to start at the bottom. A finance intern position will get you the experience you need to move up in this lucrative field.
  5. Software Engineer - Much of our lives, both personal as well professional, revolve around computers. The demand for specialized software is always growing. Software engineers build computer programs to make our lives easier. See how to write the best software engineer cover letter.
  6. Assistant Editor - Publishing is a big industry in New York. If you have a sharp eye for detail and want to work in publishing, an assistant editor position is a great place to start. 
  7. Customer Service Representative - Businesses both small and large are always hiring customer service representatives. These positions require patience, empathy, and stellar customer service skills. If this sounds like you, try out for this position. 
  8. Business Analyst - A business analyst has an eye for numbers and a love of data. If you enjoy crunching numbers, spotting trends, as well as making forecasts, a business analyst position may be right for you. 
  9. Project Manager - This is another position that can apply to any industry. If you have experience managing teams and seeing projects through from start to finish, you have the skills needed to be a project manager. 
  10. Recruitment Coordinator - Hiring an employee is a long process that many businesses don't want to handle on their own. They may outsource recruiting candidates to a third party. If you like helping people and businesses find the right match, this position is a great opportunity for you. 

Of course, this is just a shortlist of some top opportunities in New York. If you don’t see your dream job here, don’t despair. Do some research online to find companies in your industry who are hiring. 

The Pros and Cons of Working in New York

Like working in any city, there are both positives as well as negatives about working in New York. It’s important to keep these in mind while you’re looking for a job so that you can make the best of the opportunities available to you. 

What are the Best Parts of Working in New York?

It’s amazing to work in one of the most famous cities in the world with historic landmarks and boundless culture. Working in New York City puts you in the center of all the action. Here are some of the best parts about working in the Big Apple:

  • Opportunities galore – You could easily find dozens of job openings in your industry on any given day. Which means that your dream career is within reach. 
  • Better salaries – While the cost of living is higher in New York City, this also means that, on average, you’ll make more than someone else working the same position in a different city might make.
  • Great networking – Living and working in New York City gives you the chance to connect with some of the top professionals in the world. There are always countless social events that are perfect for networking and meeting other people in your industry. 

Working in New York City can be a great opportunity at any stage in your career. Whether you’re just starting or have years of experience in your industry.

What are the Challenges of Working in New York?

While working in the largest city in the US is definitely a dream come true for many people, it does have its drawbacks that you should keep in mind. Here are some of the most difficult parts about working in NYC:

  • Lots of competition – As mentioned earlier, many people want jobs in New York City, which makes for tough competition. This means you have to really highlight your skills when you’re applying for your dream position.
  • It can be overwhelming – There’s no denying New York is crowded, fast-paced, and busy. While some people thrive in this type of environment, it can be overstimulating for others. Be sure to manage your work-life balance as well as have a calm place to retreat to at the end of the day. 
  • Transit complications – While NYC does have one of the most efficient public transportation systems in the country, it’s important to remember that New York is a huge city, and it isn’t always easy to get from one place to another. Subways break down, trains get delayed, and trying to navigate urban traffic can be a headache. 

If you want to work in New York City, make sure it fits with your lifestyle, preferences, and priorities. 

How Does it Feel to Work in New York? 

Working in New York is a life-changing experience. You'll make connections, meet people, and gain the experience you need to grow your career. Whether you're a recent graduate or you're later in your career and looking for a change of pace, New York has tons to offer if you know where to look. Take a peek at available jobs in NY to get started!

A night time view of the statue of liberty and skyline in New York.

Working in New York is perfect for people who want a fast-paced, exciting career. Some of the top professionals in the hottest industries call NYC home. If you’re looking to make a name for yourself and work your way to the top, looking for a career in the Big Apple may be just what you need. It’s important to remember your first job in NYC may not be that position you’ve dreamed about, but it can be a great place to start climbing the ladder. 

What Salary Do You Need to Live in NYC?

The cost of living in NYC is notoriously high, but salaries tend to be higher than the national average as well. Making a decent salary isn’t difficult in NYC. But how much do you need to live? It really depends on which neighborhood you live in! Aim to pay no more than 30% of your income towards housing. This means, if you’d like to live on your own, you want to aim to make around $70,000, so you can afford to pay about $1750 a month towards rent, which will get you a one-bedroom apartment in some of the more affordable neighborhoods in the city. 

Make Your Career Goals a Reality

A job in New York City can make your career goals come to life. Remember, if you want to work in the Big Apple, you need to stay dedicated. Apply to as many jobs as you can, seek out the top companies, as well as look for opportunities that match your priorities. And don’t forget to give it time! The New York job market is competitive, so it may take a few tries to get it right. With a little commitment and persistence, you’ll be on your way to working in NYC in no time.

Lensa Insights
Lensa Insights
Work is changing faster than an angry retrovirus. For jobseekers, that means one thing: adapt or die! Lensa Insights is your survival guide, offering actionable career tips to keep your future in focus.

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