What to do if your dream job isn’t in your dream city

There’s certainly something to be said for planting roots and watching them grow, so to speak.  When you live in the same place for a while, you may have family nearby and you certainly develop a group of friends.  You learn where the best meals can be had and there are shops you enter where everyone knows your name.  Unfortunately, the city you live in and love simply may not offer up your dream job.  What should you do if nabbing the job of your dreams means relocating?

Consider the current and future value of the job

The first thing you need to do is evaluate the job from a practical perspective.  What do you stand to gain by moving for work?  Yes, you’ll gain personal fulfillment, but are you willing to accept a trade-off like an inability to pay the bills each month?

It’s important to understand all of the expenses you’ll face when you move, not just in terms of transporting your possessions to a new city, but in terms of paying rent and other living expenses.  If your new job won’t afford you a comfortable lifestyle, it might not actually be your dream job.

On the other hand, everyone has to pay their dues.  If your job is light on benefits but you have opportunities to advance within the company, or alternately, the experience will help you to nab better positions at preferred companies later on, the future value of the job may make it worthwhile, especially if you can return to your dream city with better job prospects.

Can you find comparable work in your preferred location?

Perhaps you only think a specific job is your dream job, maybe because of the name on the letterhead.  Say you have an opportunity to work at a high-profile company if you relocate, but you could find a comparable job with a local business.  You need to consider whether you’re moving for the right reasons, especially if you’re loathe to leave your current locale.

What’s holding you in a specific spot?

What are your reasons for wanting to stay in a certain location?  Is it just because you’re familiar with the setting and the thought of learning your way around a new city scares you?  If this is the case, you should seriously consider taking a leap into the unknown for your dream job.  If, on the other hand, you’re hesitant to move because it might damage relationships with your family or a significant other, you might want to rethink leaving.

Living with regret

If all else fails, consider what you might regret down the line.  Would you regret giving up on the opportunity for a dream job elsewhere?  Would you regret leaving the love of your life in pursuit of a career?  You need to consider your priorities before making a decision to move for work.

Post by Sarah Harris

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