Money Matters

What To Look For In A City When You’re Relocating For Work

(Source: www.forbes.com)

While fewer Americans may be relocating for work than in past decades, there are still plenty of people moving to new locales when opportunity arises.

No matter how exciting movies and TV shows make it look to branch out and conquer a new city, it’s a daunting prospect in real life. Not only are you leaving behind your comfortable existence, but you’re completely reinventing your personal rhythms. From the grocery stores where you’ll shop day-to-day to the transportation you’ll use to get from home to work, everything will be different for a while.

To smooth the way and make landing in your new work home a more positive adventure, do your due diligence before taking the plunge. Obviously, you’ll want to explore the city where you’ll be employed, but you’ll want to dig deeper than merely checking out the local coffee shops and green spaces. What you deserve to see is a thriving place with six specific attributes:

1. A strong community bustling with innovation and inclusive opportunities.

Are innovative minds converging on your target city? That’s a sure sign that the community supports emerging businesses, startups, and entrepreneurial ventures — exactly what a new employee will want to see. A great example is St. Louis. Its Cortex district is a hub of business activity, and the city itself plays host to plenty of events for up-and-comers. Even if you never decide to become a local innovator yourself, you’ll be surrounded by eager colleagues and talented minds. I knew little about St. Louis, but I recently took some time from a business trip to get to know the city and was impressed with the energy and youthful vibe.

2. An area where the cost of living is in line with salaries.

What could be worse than snagging what you thought was a lucrative job only to find that what you assumed was a decent salary barely covers your bills? Do some investigative legwork and determine where you can not only live well, but be able to save, too. For instance, you might want to try out Pittsburgh. The Pennsylvania city is one of the best when it comes to pay rates that dramatically exceed the standard cost of living.

3. A town where you won’t commute forever and a day.

You don’t want to spend upward of two or more hours each day just getting to and from your desk. Long commutes are hazardous to your wellbeing because they ramp up stress levels and reduce your opportunities to relax. Be sure to ask future co-workers about their average commutes — but travel them yourself. And don’t assume that you can’t live in a coastal city and enjoy a short commute: San Diego cracked the top 10 on Forbes’ list of commuter-friendly cities.

4. A city where the climate is conducive to good health.

If you’ve suffered from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), think twice about accepting a position in Seattle or a similar town. The dreary weather may overshadow the perks of living in this top metropolis. Be aware that, in most cases, the weather you experience while visiting a place isn’t going to stay that way year-round. Look for a region that allows you to get both indoor and outdoor enjoyment, which will boost your resilience and positivity overall.

5. An urban or suburban spot with a culture that fits your lifestyle.

How do you unwind after you’ve put in your 9-to-5? Is it with a long, solo bike ride in a winding neighborhood? Or do you prefer to hit the night scene and hang with buddies? The ability to unwind is essential to your loving your new city. Take Philadelphia, for example. It’s a vibrant city with tons of culture, close proximity to the bright lights of NYC, a relatively low cost of living, and a thriving downtown for foodies. But you might not have known all that until you explored the benefits of living and working there.

6. Diversity of viewpoints and experiences.

Success in the working world — and in life — often depends on diverse ideas coming together for the greater good. Miami, Florida, is chock full of not only beautiful beaches and cultural communities, but a diverse population that fuels innovative and unique discussions in the workplace. This access to a wide variety of life experiences will both make for a stronger working environment and help you to become a more well-rounded individual.

Flying away from your nest allows you to stretch your wings, which is why the process compels so many Generation Xers, Millennials, and Generation Zers to relocate. Take your time and make your decision based on all the important factors, and you’ll be in a good position to truly embrace the place where you land.

William Arruda is the cofounder of CareerBlast and creator of the complete LinkedIn quiz that helps you evaluate your profile and networking strategy.

More Info: www.forbes.com

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