Allison Lindberg worked in New York City for most of her career, relishing city life and enjoying her job in project management for the handbag company Coach (now Tapestry). The Big Apple’s pace and energy suited Lindberg, a married young professional, but there was one city and job market she regularly kept an eye on: New Orleans.
Born and raised in the Big Easy, Lindberg hoped that at some point she’d be able to export her job skills and life experience back to her hometown.
“I knew that I wanted to eventually get back to New Orleans,” says Lindberg, who left the city after high school, attending the University of Colorado at Boulder before moving to Manhattan. “I would frequently look to see what was going on in terms of job growth.”
There was a lot to observe. Over the last decade, New Orleans has morphed from a city known for culture and tourism to a hub of high tech expansion, digital media and entrepreneurship. A variety of global companies, including DXC Technology, GE Digital, Globalstar, Gameloft and others expanded into New Orleans, while a bevvy of entrepreneurs launched successful start-ups. With a solid base of legacy industries and a high retention rate of existing companies, the Crescent City has built a diverse economy and expanding job market.
“It looked like things were at the point where I could go back, not just for a single job, but to take part in a transformed economy,” says Lindberg.
Lindberg and her husband, who works in human resources consulting, made a firm decision to relocate to New Orleans in 2016. She took a leap of faith – moving before she had a job offer.
“I know not everyone can do it that way, but for me it was great to be able to move back and really get to know the city again,” says Lindberg. “Getting down here, meeting with the economic development community and getting to know what companies were here was invaluable.”
New Orleans, says Lindberg, is an easy place to build networks. After all, part of the city’s DNA is socializing, entertaining and cultural traditions.
“NOLA is very social, and it’s easy to talk to people,” Lindberg says. “Every meeting was a win-win.”
Lindberg’s networking led to applying for and landing a job as a project manager at Accruent, the world’s leading provider of physical resource management solutions. Lindberg became a senior project manager on one of the company’s software tools, which handles refrigerant management for large retailers nationwide. She was one of the first hires in New Orleans for the company, which plans to add 350 employees to its local staff by 2020. Lindberg’s husband has also been hired on by Accruent.
Being back in New Orleans has enabled Lindberg to live closer to and spend more time with family and old friends. And even though it’s not New York, the city’s dynamism has been wildly satisfying, Lindberg says. The couple lives uptown, where they take advantage of urban bike paths and greenspace and a regular restaurant openings. They’ve found it easy to own only one car since they take advantage of carpooling with friends and riding the bus or the street car.
“We were a little concerned about transition from New York just because there is so much to do all the time, but it’s been great,” says Lindberg. “It’s been a great transition.”
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