Those new to working in New York City often arrive ready to run in the most daunting rat race of them all at full sprint. As the largest regional city economy in the country and one of the world's top financial centres, it's certainly easy to glamorise the opportunity to be part of Manhattan's wheels and cogs, but expats should also be prepared to walk into a business environment that is defined by cut-throat competition, high stress and long working hours.
Job market in New York City
The city acts as a headquarters to many large international companies and is home to major branches of foreign industry, many of them listed as top global Fortune 500 organisations.
New York City's economy is built on the financial, healthcare, real estate and technology sectors, with secondary industries such as publishing, manufacturing, media, and trade helping to drive the beast forward.
The Big Apple is also often pegged as a global creative hub, and many who are up and coming in the art world aspire to one day be working in New York City.
Finding a job in New York City
New York City's cost of living is one of the highest in the United States, so international employers may offer additional assistance to those recruited from abroad. Those with sought-after skills and experience will find that employers in New York will be able to offer lucrative packages. However, more recently, such positions aren't as easily available as they once were.
It follows that maintaining a low-paying job will make life difficult in the city and will be certain to cause unnecessary stress. If moving to New York for a work opportunity, be sure to negotiate a sizeable salary package to offset the high cost of living.
Some of the most popular ways of looking for jobs in New York City include the employment sections of newspapers, online job portals and employment agencies.
Work culture in New York City
Understandably, with an economy as diverse as New York, the business culture varies according to the industry one is working in. Those working for a large corporation in New York should expect to toil long hours, take on a lot of responsibility and prepare to meet under-pressure deadlines.
Depending on the particular industry, employees may compete directly with colleagues to work on the best and most lucrative accounts. So while teamwork is valued and necessary, those who want to succeed in the Big Apple will need the ability to shine independently.
►Work Permits for the USA is essential reading for expats hoping to work in New York City
"There are so many jobs on offer in New York but the competition is fierce. You need to be here on the ground if you’re applying, and you need to use every single connection or network you can possibly find. Simply relying on sending your resume in, in most cases, will not get you far. Any connection you can make and any opportunity you can take advantage of will help you immensely. A US phone number and email address is also crucial." Read more of Australian expat Josh's interview about life in NYC.
"I once heard that New York is the most competitive city in the US. After being here for almost three years, I have to agree. Lots of people want to work and see you as a competitor they have to get rid of or back stab. I had first- and second-round interviews with five other candidates in the same room. Of course these types of situations can make you feel very uncomfortable." Laura from Germany tells us about her expat experience in NYC.
Are you an expat living in New York City?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to New York City. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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