Great Jobs for Portland and Beyond

10 Reasons You Want to Work and Live in Portland, Oregon

Posted on by Jessica Williams

Portland, for all its job search hassle, is worth the extra work. From the coast to the mountains, the opportunities for fun before, during and after work are endless.

I want you to stay motivated in your job search, so here are 10 reasons I believe you want to work and live in Portland (in case you need convincing): 

                                           

Community 

Let’s get down to it. At the end of the day, it’s all about connecting with others and building relationships that make you feel alive. I’ve found that Portland has a generous community built on the hearts of kind people who want to help you. Consider The Oregon Public House, the world’s first nonprofit pub that donates 100% of all profits to local nonprofits.

Cycling 

Thanks in part to the Bicycle Transportation Alliance; Portland is one of America’s most bikeable cities. Bike to work, to happy hour, or heck, bike the whole city in an afternoon! Join the bike commuters on Hawthorne between 8am – 9am and you’ll feel a part of something special. 

Happy Hours

Traditional and late night happy hours make Portland an ideal place for cheap beer and grub. It’s delicious, too! Downtown, you must go to Bailey’s Taproom and order Mexican food from Santeria across the street. On the eastside, hit up  The Gold Dust Meridian or the Captured by Porches beer cart on SE 28th Avenue (be sure to get a falafel at Wolf & Bears too!).

Culture 

From Portland Story Theater to Soul Night at The Good Foot, whatever your interest, Portland has an outlet. Geek out to trivia at the WayPost or join in the Naked Bike Ride. Just get out there and participate! It’s so much fun.

Creative Minds

Portland attracts innovative thinkers like Julie Keefe, Portland’s creative laureate who was recently selected by Fast Company for its 100 Most Creative People in Business List.

Dog Friendly

Your pup is sure to be content in this town! In Portland, employers like Wieden+Kennedy, allow you to bring your dog to work. Bars and restaurants like the Lucky Lab Brewery encourage dining with your dog on the patio. 

Casual Dress 

Forget the suit and tie, Portlanders prefer to dress casual, but with style. Vintage is encouraged, second-hand is cool, hats are appropriate, and tattoos in the workplace are common. 

Food Carts

The Whole Bowl, Spoons, Just Thai, Sonny Bowl, Honkin’ Huge Burritos, and Scoop are just a few of my favorites. With so many food cart pods, you may never have to visit the same food cart twice.

Coffee Breaks

Portlanders like their coffee and are loyal to our coffee shops. Downtown, I’m a Spella loyalist and Courier Coffee is where to go in the Pearl District. It’s a great excuse to stretch your legs and laugh a little with good people.

People Know Your Name

Portland is the only metropolitan city I know, where people truly know your name. After four years here, I rarely walk down the street without seeing a familiar face.

I know the job search in Portland can be tough, but hang in there because it’s worth it! What do you love about living and working in Portland, Oregon?

Video entitled Finding Portland from Uncage the Soul Productions on Vimeo.

Share this:

About Jessica Williams

Jessica Williams is an Account Director at Prichard Communications, publisher of "Mac's List." As a professional in Portland, she writes a weekly post offering up tips and ideas relevant to local jobseekers. You can reach her at jessica@prichardcommunications.com, follow her on Twitter @JessicaJoEllen, or connect with her on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jessicajoellen/.

My Contact Info

View all posts by Jessica Williams →

Sign up for our Newsletter

Mac’s List is free! Subscribe using the form below to receive our weekly newsletter jam packed with job opportunities, volunteer positions, internships and events in Oregon.

  • jaybloom

    I would add it is a great for many generations working and living together. Truly a community for all ages!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/jessicajoellen Jessica Williams

      Jay~ I agree and thanks for saying that! Many folks often argue a different opinion and so I appreciate your thoughts. Best ~ Jessica

  • Taylor Long

    Great post, and thanks for the plug about Portland Story Theater!

    • http://www.facebook.com/jessicajoellen Jessica Williams

      Thanks Taylor!:)

  • Elizabeth Aspen

    I left Portland at the height of the recession (seriously regretting it ever since, considering where I ended up). I want to move back, but I’m sad to hear that things don’t seem to have improved much, job wise.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jessicajoellen Jessica Williams

      Elizabeth,

      From what I understand, Portland has always had a tough job market. It’s just not a very big city but attracts many many talented, educated people so competition can be fierce. It’s not hopeless though! I know many people including myself who have moved here and found work overtime. You just have to be prepared to spend some time and work hard. If you decide to take the leap, I wish you best of luck!

  • Luke Backus

    I’m from the East coast, my wife and I are pumped up about moving to Portland Oregon next Fall. Well I’m excited about it, my wife is still wavering on the idea. I will definitely share this with her. Thanks!

    • http://www.facebook.com/jessicajoellen Jessica Williams

      Luke,

      That’s great! I love it here:) Best of luck in your move.

      Cheers!

  • Georgia B. Rodriguez

    I spent a weekend in Portland back in 2009, and that short amount of time convinced me that I want to live there one day! I’m from Los Angeles and am ALWAYS cold, so people tell me I would’t be able to handle the weather up there, but I’d be willing to try it out for myself. I truly love being a California girl, and I love being near Disneyland, but Portland feels slower and more cozy than LA. Like I said, a weekend is all it took to convince me I’d love to live there; hopefully one day I’ll be able to do it!

    • http://www.facebook.com/jessicajoellen Jessica Williams

      Georgia,

      I lived in LA and southern California for a long time and I have to say that Portland’s weather isn’t so bad and the city more than makes up for the rain. You’ll hardly even notice it because you’ll be so busy living it up;)

      Best of luck in moving here!

      Jessica

      • Georgia B. Rodriguez

        Thank you, Jessica! That makes me feel less apprehensive about it, should it work out! :)

  • Lorna

    My husband is from portland Oregon
    I had been thinking since I am from Britain to move there for a job in video games.

  • curious reader

    Why is finding work in Portland tough? I don’t see any explanation of this in your article.

  • Star Robertson

    Thank you For posting this my husband, myself and our 8 mo old son are planning our Portland move from CO in June. I’ve only read negative about this transition so your article gave me a bit of hope.

  • Kristy Sinsara

    We are considering moving to Portland this summer, currently we live in Bend. We moved to Bend because of the sunshine. Unfortunately no one told us that it’s also a very conservative, non-progressive city. I mean it’s truly like living in Alabama but with a really gorgeous view and weather (9 months of the year). Someone said on a different blog that Bend, Oregon was “poverty with a view”. Yep, that’s accurate too. Everyone here is poor. Like really, really poor. I’m not judging, just stating a fact. If you’re super religious and love being outdoors, BEND is YOUR city! If you’re more open minded and love diversity and progressive thinking, it looks like Portland is more your speed.

    Is there any other city in Oregon that has more sun than Portland but cooler than Bend? Anyone know?

    • http://www.facebook.com/jessicajoellen Jessica Williams

      Hey Kristy,

      Gosh I just don’t know of one. I think the solution to your problem is figuring out how to live in Portland despite the rain.

  • Michal

    This video makes me believe Portland has kind of european spirit. I never left Europe but this city looks more european than any other US city I’ve seen – in internet offcoure :). If I would be about to move USA, Portland would be one of the top choices for me.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jessicajoellen Jessica Williams

      So many world travelers settle here exactly for that reason! It’s a great place to be if you value European culture

  • mslady269

    My sister lives in Eugene and goes between there and Portland where her kids are. She’s been trying to get me to make that move from Michigan for years. I’m getting fed up with these harsh winters and really would like a change, so I might have to really look into this. This article definitely makes me lean towards the pack everything up and go side. I work from home, so all I need is my laptop and a good internet connection, so the work issue isn’t an issue for me right now. Man… I suppose I have a lot to thing about. I’d be moving a whole house to the other side of the country basically with all the stuff we have.

    • Cecilia

      Spring time is right around the corner, and it’s great time to move to Portland! It’s tough to make such a big move but we think it will be worth it:)

  • http://behance.com/dtp_design Derek Parks

    I am 23 yrs old with my associates in Graphic Design from a reputable art school in Kettering, OH. I have 4 years work history in Graphic design and 2 years managers EXP. My gf has her degree in Cosmetology and does Spa, nails, and skin treatments. We are very interested in making a visit (next 6-7 months) and possibly a move in 2015. Could anybody give some advice to us young upcomers with finding a position in our careers? Any info from Oregonians would be SO GREATLY appreciated. Portland is where we want to be!!! We have never been out West – but we KNOW 100% we are not OHIOANS at heart. It is just a different place here in Ohio, it just doesn’t quite fit who we are as individuals…Please any info would help us guys :) thank you.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jessicajoellen Jessica Williams

      Hey Derek!

      Definitely check out the other blog posts on Mac’s List – we’ve been writing for years about how to find work in Oregon! You can search using the search bar or by categories on the right hand side.

      Best of luck!

  • Dara Nicole Boyd-Galleguillos

    We are thinking of moving to Portland from Austin, TX within the next year. I year they’re sort of sister cities!

  • Forrest

    My wife and I would both love to relocate to Portland, or as we’ve started calling it, the jewel of the Pacific Northwest. I recently looked at a potential job in the city and was shocked by the salary in comparison to the cost of living. Add to that a 9% State tax (we currently live in Florida and pay no State income tax) and it looks like our dream of moving to Portland may go unrealized.

  • LeilaniD

    My boyfriend and I are planning on getting married and moving to Portland, and he has a bachelors degree in Marking and I have a esthetics license, and other job history as well. He is ruthless when it comes to finding a job so I am not worried we won’t have income and even a part-time job on my part would be fine until I find something serious. We are a young couple and I was wondering how hard it is to find a place to live? Also, are people really nice in Portland as I am hearing? If I did leg work, and networking and getting to know people in town, would I get the cold shoulder? I live in Vegas, and like NO ONE here is friendly unless you work or go to school with them. It is so sad.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jessicajoellen Jessica Williams

      The rental market is competitive right now but if you’re diligent, you’ll find something! Just get there early and be super friendly and responsive.

      You would not get the cold shoulder by trying to get to know people in Portland – Portlanders really are friendly and if anyone ever does blow you off, it was probably an anomaly. Open your heart to others, be kind and help others, and smile at folks – it won’t take long till you’ve got friends.

      Good luck on your move! Sounds to me like you’ll be fine!

  • Jeannie

    Hello,

    How competitive is the housing market now? Is SE Portland good for kids or is a nearby suburb such as Gresham better? I’m in CA getting ripped off by high costs and my family lives in another part of rural Or. Interested in moving to Portland area in the next few years, not as familiar with that part of Or.
    Thanks!