She claimed that moving to Paris gave her a significantly higher quality of life, including an opportunity to reside independently in a Parisian apartment.
Work-life balance is the equilibrium between an individual's work responsibilities and personal life. Achieving a good work-life balance is essential to maintaining physical and mental health, improving job satisfaction, and enhancing overall well-being. However, the work culture in corporate America often leaves workers burned out and with no time to focus on their well-being and personal life. People often go to great lengths to achieve that balance. But this is not how it is all around the world. Soldana, a TikTok user who goes by @iamsoldana, has the answer to this as she compared the work-life balance of an American job with that of a workplace in Paris.
She claims in her video, "Moving to Europe gave me a significantly higher quality of life." Merely three years ago, she had recently completed her college education and was earning a base salary of approximately $80,000 annually. However, due to residing in New York City, the priciest location for a solitary individual, Soldana had to share an apartment in downtown Manhattan with three unknown people to meet her rental expenses. Subsequently, after a few years of such living conditions, an option presented itself to her, providing an alternative course of action. The offer was for a comparable consulting job, but located in Paris, granting her the opportunity to experience life in an entirely new city. However, she was a bit unsure about taking the job at first.
She said in the video, "If you know anything about the European job market, if you compare it to New York salaries, the salaries are a huge cut. But I said ‘f*** it,’ and I took the job even though it was a lower salary, and it was probably the best decision I’ve ever made." Soldana claims that owing to the lower cost of living in Paris, she could upgrade from a four-bedroom shared apartment in New York City to residing independently in her Parisian apartment, a considerable improvement. She said, "On top of that, the additional paid vacation time is just insane. I went from three weeks of paid time off in New York City to having seven weeks — legal minimum — paid time off in Paris." Moving to a different city also comes with a delightful advantage – the opportunity to make short visits to other European countries over the weekend for a significantly lower expense. Soldana said, "Also, if you’re a foodie and you love going out to eat. Going out to eat was not a possibility for me when I was a new grad, it was just too expensive. I would limit it to the weekends."
In contrast, dining out in Paris is a reasonably priced experience, where a regular meal with friends, including cocktails, would only cost her around 30 euros ($32.94). Moreover, tipping is not mandatory in France, which further contributes to cost-effectiveness. Soldana said, "Last but not least, I think that it was a lot easier for me to make friends in Paris as an American than it was for me moving to New York from California. It may sound counter-intuitive, but being a foreigner, it was a lot easier of a conversation starter and made it easier for me to meet new friends."
According to Soldana, the ex-pat community in France is well-established, making it easier for Americans who have migrated to form connections with each other. It may take some time and effort to become part of the ex-pat community, but it is worth the patience. Her life in Paris interested many people who commented on her video. @emmascottdoyle said, "Im moving from LA to London in the fall. This was so reassuring," while @jaclyn_gwyn commented, "You’re so lucky! Those opportunities don’t come by often so good for you for taking the leap."