10 signs you should consider making a move for your career
If you find yourself daydreaming about the next big move in your career, it’s worth considering an actual move. Like, across the country (or even the globe). Pay attention to your reaction to that idea – did it ignite something in you? If so, here are 10 signs you should consider making a move for your career.
Business is booming… somewhere else.
Job growth and opportunities can vary tremendously from city to city. While the job market can be stale in one location, there will be a ton of opportunities elsewhere. Saskatchewan is experiencing growth across many industries, but notably the IT sector; businesses in the province will be looking to fill an estimated 3,900 IT positions in the next five years.
You’re in the mood for an adventure.
Maybe you’re not moving for a specific job, but for the feeling of freedom and newness that comes along with getting a fresh start in a new place. If you have the flexibility to pick up and try out a new home base, it can be worth experiencing, from both a work perspective and a personal one. Finding out who you are away from everything that has shaped you can be incredibly rewarding, and you might find yourself reaching new heights (and moving in new directions) in your career.
You’re looking for work in a highly specialized field.
If the work you do is incredibly specialized, it may be that you have little choice but to move for work. Chances are there are a few locations and organizations where your skills will be needed, and you’ll have to follow the opportunities as they come up.
You’ve just graduated.
This ties into the desire for adventure (four years in one place can feel like a long time), but moving might also be a practical necessity when starting out in your career. When I finished my master’s degree, my classmates and I were given one piece of advice by a professor: You can choose the kind of work you do, or you can choose the city you live in, but you can’t have both. She was right. I chose a city based on friends, family and lifestyle, but many of my classmates went for jobs over geography, and I watched some of them move up in their careers more quickly as a result.
Opportunity is knocking (aka you’ve been headhunted).
If you’re successful in your work, especially as you move up the corporate (or artsy/non-profit) ladder, there’s a good chance you’ll be headhunted at some point in your career. If you’ve been offered a great opportunity somewhere far from home, it’s worth considering. Take a trip to check out the city (bringing along anyone else who should have a say in the decision), try to get a sense of the work culture at your potential new employer, then decide whether the opportunity is worth the move.
You’ve found the perfect job, and it’s in another city.
If you’ve been cruising the job boards and have found your dream job, consider applying, even if it’s not in your city or town. Even if you’d like to eventually settle down in your current location, getting the experience elsewhere can make you a more appealing candidate down the line, when you’re ready to come home. Plus, you might just fall in love with your new hometown, and decide to stay.
You want more from your money.
Your big job in the big city might actually be costing you more than making a lower salary (or, ideally, a higher salary!) in a city with a lower cost of living. Many major cities in Canada are facing housing crises right now, with younger workers wondering how (and if) they’ll ever be able to afford to buy. While moving to a smaller town or city might mean giving up some of the bright lights you’ve gotten used to, your paycheque can go a lot further. It might be worth the trade.
You’re wanted and needed in another region.
There are many sectors and regions that need qualified workers desperately, and offer perks to bring them in. The Canadian Government even offers student loan forgiveness to doctors and nurses who spend time working in rural communities. If your skills are in high enough demand, you can find high salaries, housing allowances and other benefits that might make working in a remote setting worth pursuing.
Your industry is over-saturated where you live.
Some places and industries have lots of job opportunities, but with more qualified candidates who are competing for the same work than can possibly be hired. This can be especially true in certain sectors (I know a lot of teachers who spend years finding full-time work). If your industry is oversaturated, consider making the move to another region where the competition is less fierce.
You want to try on another way of life.
As someone who has lived and worked on both coasts and has now landed somewhere in the middle, I can tell you that each of the cities I’ve lived in has a completely different vibe – at work and play. I’m sure the difference is even more marked if you move to a smaller town. That change of pace might just be what you need.
People who want to kick their career into high gear might want to try out a major city, but there’s also something to be said for the potential to make a big splash in a smaller pond (and the lifestyle that goes with it). Case in point: while Toronto’s average commute is almost 33 minutes, workers in Regina spend just 17 minutes commuting, and can find themselves at one of Saskatchewan’s 100,000 lakes just minutes after finishing work.
If your wanderlust is kicking in already, here’s a recent list of Canada’s best (and worst) cities for finding work. Happy hunting!