If Seattle has seemed unusually crowded these days—maybe you’ve found yourself suddenly elbow to elbow on downtown sidewalks as you dash to pick up your takeout lunch, or you regularly need an extra 20 minutes for your commute home—you’re not imagining things. Census reports from 2017 estimated that about 1,000 people are moving to Seattle a week. A week. That’s as if two-thirds of the city I grew up in (Racine, Wisconsin), decided to move here in the span of a year. At this rate, by this time next year, another 52,000 people will be crowded into our city.
Of course, most of the folks flocking here are part of the latest gold rush for shiny new jobs, with Amazon, obviously, dangling one of the biggest carrots.
But people are coming here for more than just good jobs. Our secret is out: It doesn’t rain here 365 days a year. People are also looking for access to mountains, nature, hiking and camping, alongside the urbane experiences that living here offers, such as our diverse restaurant offerings and the arts and culture scene.
The ones who make it through a few of our dreary winters generally end up wanting to set down some roots, buy a house and maybe start a family. And as anyone who has been on the Sisyphean journey to work-family balance knows, that’s when the real fun begins. You really have no idea how much free time you used to have until you simply don’t have it. You’re suddenly scheduling doctor’s appointments for the family, school meetings and summer camps (yes, you need to start doing that in February now!) and taking care of all those other things you often can only do during regular business hours instead of after 9 p.m., which is really the only time you have to take care of personal business.
As Seattle’s job market becomes more competitive, companies are doing their best to keep employees happy. Check out the latest trends and how progressive local employers are helping staff find that work-life balance in our January issue. As more women come into positions of power, I can’t help but wonder if we’ll continue to see more of this creative thinking.
If you’re looking for even more great companies to work for, check out our sister publication, Seattle Business, for its 100 best places to work list (along with scores of other thoughtful reports on top-ranked companies in a variety of industries) or follow it on Twitter at @seattlebusiness.
The rest of this issue is the perfect recipe to accompany a chilly Seattle January: tiki drinks, instructions on how to forage for height-of-the-season oysters on our very own public beaches and—for the true homebody—a bathroom remodel that will get you thinking about how to reinvent your own. Now that’s what I call balance.