Fitting Life into Work, or Vice Versa?

I caught up recently with a friend, an accomplished executive who’s worked for several Fortune 500 companies. He and his family have had to move a few times for these opportunities. He and his wife have always loved Atlanta, and they made their way back a few years ago. A new opportunity is bringing change to their lives again. He just accepted a leadership position for a company headquartered in a western state, where the job requires him to work. For now, he’ll live and work out west, his wife and children will stay in Atlanta, and he’ll come back every few weeks. They’ll make more definitive plans after he settles into the new role and the children finish the school year.

My friend has built an amazing life in Atlanta for his family and himself. He’s hesitant to uproot his family and take them away from the community and city they’ve come to love. I don’t know what my friend and his wife will decide, but I’m sure they’ll make the decision that’s best for their family.

Talking to him highlighted a change I’ve noticed. Companies used to attract talent to a location convenient to the company, which could have a big impact on the personal lives of the employee and their family. It was accepted that sometimes you must move for professional opportunities. In other words, people accepted making their personal lives fit into parameters set by their professions.

How people evaluate opportunities is changing. This is anecdotal, but I’m hearing more people evaluate opportunities differently. They’re looking at how a professional opportunity fits into their personal life, not the other way around. People are more hesitant to move or agree to opportunities that don’t align with their personal lives.

I’m wondering if this is just among the people I know or if it’s happening more broadly (as I suspect). I’m also curious about whether this is a trend that will endure regardless of the economic environment.