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The Ideal Alternative

But what if you wanted a busy market but a slightly quieter lifestyle? What if you preferred a better salary to cost of living ratio? The ideal alternative is the Washington DC Metro area. A serious hotbed of financial services companies who still pay extremely well and only employ top tier talent.

April 2019

The Ideal Alternative

       John Bevan

       Vice President, USA

 

 

Parallel started recruiting in the US with the sole focus of placing candidates in New York City.

Nine times out of ten that would be specific to Manhattan and that is a reflection of how busy that particular market is.

But what if you wanted a busy market but a slightly quieter lifestyle? What if you preferred a better salary to cost of living ratio? The ideal alternative is the Washington DC Metro area. A serious hotbed of financial services companies who still pay extremely well and only employ top tier talent.

I have many clients who have pinpointed this region as a serious area of growth over the last twelve months and plan to keep it going over the next twelve… I doubt I’m telling you anything surprising, that the nation’s capital is a great place to live, but sometimes people get so caught up with New York City and dismiss other regions without learning more about them. At the risk of sounding like a travel agent, the city is very good looking, clean and has a certain authority about it. The buildings are nice and you can tell that it’s a serious place of work due to the countless governmental buildings around the city.

The businesses that are based in DC have done extremely well out of it. You have a large ‘big four’ presence around the area and they are often hiring across valuations and capital markets. You have E*Trade who have an excellent location downtown and you have other large Banks like Capital One, Wells Fargo and PNC who occupy large spaces across the Metro area and employ a large amount of people within Risk, Data Analytics and Valuations. This is all without even mentioning Fannie and Freddie, the former having just moved in to brand new offices in the downtown area. The move was down to a lease coming to an end and to ‘save taxpayers money’. Having been there several times, I can say that the offices are very impressive.

One other important factor is that pretty much all of the companies I mentioned above have been busy in Q1. You don’t have to be a genius to realise the NYC market has been relatively slow during the same time period and DC have made up for this wonderfully. Go and put a job title into LinkedIn and see the difference of open vacancies within the two regions. To scale, it’s very comparable.

What about personal gain?

Well go and check rental prices compared to New York and you will see your first advantage. When you also see that salaries aren’t all that different then you start to see why the move could make sense. Geographically there are many places in Eastern Virginia that are affordable and commutable to DC. Some of them are also home to large offices of the aforementioned companies.

In recent times, Banks have relocated to Charlotte, Nashville, New Jersey, Tempe, Tampa, Miami and Ohio. New York isn’t what it used to be and who knows what the future holds. DC is holding steady and is on the up. It’s certainly something to consider…