Should You Move to Find A Job?
The internet is full of first-person anecdotes of now-settled job seekers who have ventured into big city zones – and back – for the sake of their careers.
In years past, many job seekers with lofty aspirations decided it would be best to move away from their home towns, where the job picture was a bit dismal, to a metropolitan area where the economy was deemed to be brighter.
In many cases, these hopefuls have – especially in generations hence – found the money and prestige that they sought. However, nine times out of ten, these careerists moved back “home”.
This Generation Is Different
Recently, The New York Times dubbed the present generations of job seekers the “go nowhere” generation, as data indicates that, when people under 30 look for jobs these days, they do so closer to home.
Still and all, there are always those starry-eyed dreamers who follow their passions and go where the jobs are. They thrive on the culture of large cities where one meets people from all walks of life and from all parts of the globe–many at the top of their field.
A Few Factors to Consider
Bright lights and big cities come with a price, however. Heftier expenses—a high rent, a more expensive lifestyle—will greet you. Fiscal realities demand that new arrivals, if travelling solo, live with several other singles or couples in order to afford the rent.
Jobs in big cities ARE a dime a dozen, and often, a newly landed job will pay well. Be warned, however: due to the higher costs in such regions, this increased amount is still just enough to get by.
It’s not uncommon to hear that, without really trying, people who move to the cities for jobs quickly find themselves living well above their means.
Budgeting in big cities is always a challenge. After spending a large chunk of monthly income on rent and on other basic bills, there is little, if any, money left over to cover student loans or day to day expenses.
The upside is that, if you can put up with a frugal and minimalistic lifestyle, living in a big metropolis is exciting and at the cutting edge of trends, societal events, the arts and fashion.
You might not in the least mind having to cut back on entertainment, furniture, clothes and food expenses.
You may discover that the stimulating environment and diverse and interesting denizens are your cup of tea, and justify the streamlined lifestyle.
A word of caution: folks who have been-there-done-that, advise that, to be happy, one should FIRST move wherever it is that they are contemplating living, and only THEN find a job. It should not be the other way around.
If You Are Certain You Wish To Move
Perhaps you have read all of the above with a sense of determination, thinking that, rather than deter you, these arguments IMPEL you to consider moving to a large town.
You may be thinking that you are THAT out of options, job-wise. For you, it may not be feasible to move where-ever you wish to live. You prefer, instead, to move to where the jobs are.
In that case, Godspeed! Follow the yearning to “make good”; go where the money is, and where the connections are.
Here are a few examples of how much you’ll stand to make when you do land in, say, New York City, and get a job:
Software engineer – just shy of $92,000.
Executive assistant – a bit under $62,000.*
Pretty impressive, eh?
Haven’t got much experience? No sweat. The legendary baristas in big cities bring in $10 per hour, not counting tips and bonuses, and there are hefty benefits.
(Baristas prepare and sell coffee and tea in Starbucks-like establishments. These retail stores are ultra-busy, so business will ALWAYS be good.)
No experience required!
So follow your heart.
If it is true that, as the media is reporting, folks are no longer grabbing a Greyhound for the next town over at the drop of a hat, remember this: as someone who is relocating, you’ll be in the minority–and this is a good thing when it comes to finding work!
There’re always more opportunities where there’s less competition!
Does Commuting Appeal?
What if, rather than moving to a large city, you’ve decided you’d like to commute?
If you’re near enough to a bustling town that you can train, car, bike, subway or bus to work and back, each weekday, why NOT commute?
You don’t have to pack up and move…you can jumpstart your career by getting a job in an economic hub and spending a little more money on gas (or on a pass). You’ll just need to get up a little earlier.
You can still make it home to the suburbs in time for dinner.
Don’t forget to tally in the monthly train or bus fare when adding up your expected expenses.
You’ll certainly like the fact that there’s no extensive travelling back and forth to visit loved ones, which is what you’d have to do if you relocated.
Another plus: your home base will be just that: a haven for you to recharge, and not merely a rental share the size of a large walk-in closet.
Too, you’ll be able to live WITHIN your means, and to have what is considered a “better quality of life”.
Another Option: Stay Home!
Finally, if you don’t feel you need to climb the equivalent of Mount Everest (a large city with career opportunities considered to be the “cream of the crop”) OR to commute, you might decide to stay put, as it were.
You’ve heard the expression: bloom where you’re planted?
Here’s an idea: why not buckle down right where you are and find work?
Be a big fish in a small pond. Just the fact that others aren’t competing with you will even out the chances.
Try these few changes: Give yourself a “make over”. Go to a gym. Start eating healthier. Get your hair styled or cut and your suits pressed. Make sure your shoes don’t look worn and that your watch works.
Exude confidence. Sell yourself. See each interview as a goldmine of an opportunity to better yourself. Now go land that job!