Should You Relocate For Work?
An Alternative To Consider
By Joe Issid
Monster Contributing Writer
Having lived in five countries across three continents, acclimating to new surroundings is something at which I have become quite adept. Over the course of my life, I have relocated numerous times (both for personal and professional reasons) and have become a fervent proponent of periodically shifting locations. New surroundings offer fresh opportunities and can be extremely beneficial to you both personally and professionally. Ultimately, making such a decision can be extremely difficult and frightening. But it can also be overwhelmingly positive. As such, here are a few benefits for you to consider:
Continuity in a sea of change
Few things in life are as exhilarating as discovering a new city. If your employer has requested you to relocate, the good news is that you will have a job when you arrive. Naturally, moving to a new town can be quite unsettling; and few things can be more traumatic than relocating without the security of employment – not to mention a known job with a trusted company. The comfort of your old job will help settle you into your new surroundings and will assist with the transition. This will allow you to focus on the positive aspects of being in a new city.
It is not a coincidence that all actors flock to California or that all country starlets navigate towards Nashville. Most industries have geographically concentrated areas of activity and are well-known for attracting –and employing – large volumes of talented workers. Many of us are not fortunate enough to live in an area where there is great opportunity to succeed in our chosen field. However, many of us do not consider relocating to a town or city that provides the necessary infrastructure to build a successful career. If you are, say, a rock star stockbroker living in rural Saskatchewan, it is reasonable to assert that a financial hub such as Toronto may afford you greater career options. If you have the luxury of being in a position to move to improve your career potential, then it may be worth investigating.
I spent several years working in an all-male office environment in Saudi Arabia. The office dynamic was a great departure from the typical North American workplace and required a period of professional and personal adjustment. It rapidly became clear to me that enterprises across the world, while different, all share similar business problems; however, how they approach these problems can vary dramatically. During my time in the Middle East, I learned some important work practices and ethics that I was able to bring back to North America.
A fresh start
If you are not evolving in your current position or maybe even suffering from some form of occupational burnout, relocation can possibly offer your career – not to mention your health – a great shot in the arm. Even if you are relocating within the same company, a new regional setting may open doors that were otherwise closed. Humans are creatures of habit: it is easy to fall into a routine that is both uninspiring and unproductive.
A global shift
At a former job, my immediate superior was based in Shanghai and my global director in Paris. Given that we were able to efficiently and affordably communicate, our physical locations were not at all relevant to our functions. To wit, after a video conference call with my director, we were surprised to run into each other in the kitchen. He thought I was in San Francisco and I assumed he was in Dusseldorf. Yet we were both in Montreal. Modern communications allows us to move further away from one another with no reduction in efficiency. More and more, companies are forgiving of physical distances and much more willing to adopt favourable telecommuting policies.
I have been fortunate to have experienced living and working in many different cities and countries and wholeheartedly support the notion of exploring any and all avenues that may be available to you. Relocating can be one of – if not the – biggest decisions you will make in your life. Justifiably, you will spend a great deal of time and agony on the decision.
But you will serve yourself well by evaluating the positives that can come with an otherwise stressful and difficult decision.
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