How to Decide Where You Want to Work

How to Decide Where You Want to Work

We spend a third of our lives working. Where you work matters. As the cost-of-living rises, and people veer away from traditional lives to pursue personal dreams, where people choose to work is also changing. For those with skills and experience, you can start to be picky about what suits you best. It's possible to find work in a place that fits both you AND your career.

Do Set Work Environments Matter?

During the pandemic, people had to embrace hybrid and remote work. Often without warning, we had to adjust to new work environments for long periods of time. This change in arrangements demonstrated that employees continued to complete their work, regardless of where they were. There was no other choice.

For some, remote work was lonely and de-motivating - others realized just how liberating it could be. This shift meant more flexibility and less time and money spent on commuting. It also saw a shift in how companies employed staff.

I was recently chatting to a manager of a crypto bank. They hire all their staff remotely and conduct Zoom meetings to discuss projects. He explained that their talent pool expanded exponentially. They can now hire the best of the best for the relevant job vacancy as they're not limited by location. They hold high standards and have big responsibilities, but realized the value of sourcing employees in a non-traditional manner.

It is difficult to convince everyone that hybrid and remote models work, but the mentality around the topic is changing. People have more freedom in deciding where to work nowadays. It's worthwhile considering a change of location for both career and lifestyle opportunities.

What are the Best Locations?

Deciding where you want to work isn't easy. Do you just want to move to a new city or should you go international? Can you move if you have a family? Is it affordable to leave what you know? Many people don't realize how doable a move is. There are challenges in relocating, but the rewards can be incredible.

Traditionally, places like London and New York were the job prospect capitals. There are now options all around the world that are much more affordable with similar opportunities. Before you move somewhere, you need to consider how you'll fit into the environment. There's no point picking up your life only to hate your new location. Here are a few considerations:

  • Affordability - public transport, rent, supermarket access, schools (if you have children)
  • Walkability - do you need a car or public transport to get around or can you walk to your main destinations?
  • Air pollution
  • Weather
  • Landscape - urban, rural, access to nature, liveliness, social opportunities
  • Hobby-related entertainment - museums, art galleries, mountains, running tracks, cycle paths, community meet-ups

People in the U.S. move to New Jersey for the beaches and beautiful scenery and work as engineers. Massachusetts boasts four seasons and is perfect for those in the tech industry. Georgia is known for its green spaces and vibrant communities with a booming manufacturing industry.

International moves are also viable. Digital nomads are flocking to places like Costa Rica, Thailand, and Croatia due to visa options and tax benefits. They work full-time, in paradise. For finance and technology, many relocate to Singapore and China. Young families have access to world-class schools for their children, without drowning in debt.

The best locations come down to what you're looking for.

Work Planning for Your Ideal Fit

As you consider your ideal environment, you should decide what company you'd like to work for. Create a mind map of your expectations.

Based on your past and current work, consider what you find most satisfying. What do you love about your daily activities? What would you prefer to do more of? Consider how you define work-life balance. Is there anything in your future position that you'd like to avoid? Map out your ideal career progression.

Before you move somewhere, it's important to connect with others in your industry. If possible, attend networking events in the area you're considering relocating to. Remote workers often work in public spaces, such as WeWork. Strike up conversations to understand how their experience has been in the area so you can get a feel for it before you take the leap.

If you do remote work, this research is entirely your responsibility. If you're relocating with a company or considering a job with a company in a new location, however, they can provide some insight. Ask them about the company culture to ensure that you have a community to lean on in your new home. Consider how international your new company is to predict your career growth opportunities.

In Summary

The best locations to work come down to what you're looking for. As mentality changes toward hybrid and remote work, opportunities across states and internationally are expanding. When deciding where you should work, you must consider several factors. Research the area to ensure affordability and comfort. Consider the company culture and room for growth. Making a move can be extremely rewarding but requires thorough planning.

Written by Career Specialist Jan 18, 2023
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