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How Far Would You Move


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#1 Aeolienne

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 21:33

What are other forum members' attitudes to moving to another area of the country in pursuit of a new job?

As some of you will already know, I was dismissed from a job in a branch of the scientific civil service back in May. While I attempt to sue my former employers for unfair dismissal, there remains the pressing issue of finding a new job. That in turn raises the issue of where (in the geographical sense) to look. I've been in Exeter for the last 6 years, ever since my firm relocated from Bracknell, Berkshire (although I'm from London originally).

Some thoughts/questions I've had on this matter:

- All other things being equal, it's better to have an interesting job in a less-than-interesting location than the other way round.
- Should I just move to wherever the first job offer is?
- Or should I draw up a list of towns/areas that sound congenial and target my job applications accordingly?
- How can I decide which places are best to live in (bearing in mind that living in an area is totally different from visiting as a tourist)?
- How can I afford to move to a more expensive area? I own my own (1-bed) flat in Exeter - would I have to go back to sharing houses with strangers?
- What if my next job doesn't work out? Am I setting myself up to move with every job change?
- How can I find out how affordable places really are? Is London totally out of the question?
- How much time should I set aside for property hunting and letting/selling the Exeter flat? This is critical because I need to have an idea of this in order to answer the inevitable question "how soon can you start work?"

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#2 Stephie

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 21:42

My stepdad had a job in Northern Ireland but had to move to Manchester because that's where his job moved to and it's working out well for him so far. And that was moving across the sea!

I can't help you with many of the questions - having just left school I'm not very experienced with the world of work quite yet! However, I can say that from a moving point of view, it's not that bad.
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#3 Violin Hero

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 22:57

London is significantly higher living costs. Property will cost far more than in exeter.

In london pay should be higher than for the same job in exeter, this is to cover the higher living expenses incurred with living in london. That said there are more job opportunities in london than in exeter.
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#4 BerkshireMum

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 00:24

If you are not tied to Exeter by family commitments, it would make sense to look at what's available over a wider area. However, you need to be realistic about where you could be happy living. Most places other than the South East have affordable housing, and you might be happier in a nice flat of your own within striking distance of London, rather than moving back to London and having to pay through the nose to rent.

If you decide you want to be able to get to London more easily than at present, that could help determine which places you look at. However, if your job expertise is in a specialist area like science it might be easier to look at what jobs are available and then consider the area of each job on its merits.

Your last question is of the "How long is a piece of string?" variety, I'm afraid. There's no telling how long it will take to sell property, so it's best to plan assuming it will take an age. A friend of mine took a job in Lincolnshire and ended up coming back to my area most weekends until her house sold almost a year later. She was lucky that she could afford to rent a bedsit in Lincolnshire to use during the week, but she felt the hassle was worth it to get a job she liked in an area she liked (Lincolnshire is much quieter and the pace of life is slower).

Only you can decide whether a particular job is worth the effort of moving. It's easy enough to find out the cost of housing in a given area - just type e.g. House prices Sheffield (or wherever) into Google and you'll find lots of properties on the web. So you can get an idea of whether it would be possible to move to another area and still have a flat of your own. As to living there, other people do it, so it can't be all bad! Again, tourist info sites will give you some idea, though I agree that living in a town isn't the same as being a tourist. You could research things like amateur orchestras or classical music venues online though.

If you really need a job, it makes sense to cast your net wide. However, once you start looking you may find there are posts you like the look of nearer home than you think. Best of luck with your job hunting!
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#5 CJB

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 07:44

I'm currently thinking through a change of direction - this is how I'm tackling it:

Initially consider what type of work are you looking for - you spend so much of your day at work it needs to be something that ticks enough boxes to keep you engaged.

Come up with a list of what any job must have, would be nice to have and must not have.

Now consider the rest of what is important in your life - location (I don't know if you have dependants/strong ties in the Exeter area) lifestyle (no point applying for jobs in the outer hebridies if the London club scene is the core of your existence) etc. Add these to the list of what a new job needs to enable.

I don't know how specialised your work background is and what transferable skills it gives. Sadly specialised scientific jobs often do require moving to where the work is and don't always pay enough to maintain the standard of living you may want without significant compromises (eg I have to commute 42 miles each way to work to be able to afford the house I live in).

Good luck both with the hunt and the legal action against your former employer. Both are stressful and I admire your resilience.
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#6 TSax

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 08:14

I moved from Cheshire to London after losing my job 11 years ago.

I was renting in Cheshire and the difference to rents in London was shocking - I ended up living in quite a grotty area because I struggled to come to terms with the fact that my monthly rent became weekly. Even with a significantly higher salary it was the "How Much?!" thing that got to me.

I now own a nice place in a nice part of London. I have plenty of new friends, so many opportunities to play music with others that I can't take them all up, and every week there are gigs I want to go to - I even make it to some of them! I didn't get to this point overnight and it was probably a few years befoe I started thinking of London as "home", but now I can't imagine living anywhere else.
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#7 elephant

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 10:19

I think the real question is what part your job/career/work/passion/livelihood plays in your life, and we can't judge that from your list of questions. If you're passionate about what you do (and you only do one thing e.g. doctor, architect, plumbing with a passion, tree surgery, etc.) then you'd presumably be prepared to move to where the work is.

If not, then it might be a good idea to look as a priority at the possibilities for doing those things that are important to you when considering an area.

As for the rest (flat, etc.) well, you could always rent the place you have to cover all or most of your rent in the new place before making a decision about whether or not you want to stay.

I've moved more times than I care to remember, almost always for professional reasons, so I'd say pulling up stakes is usually a fairly exciting and positive step... (depends also, of course, on your commitments, family, kids, etc...). All in all, I've usually found it exhilarating... so don't let the details bog you down too much....

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#8 Guest: The Old Lady_*

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 15:27

The only time I moved for a job was when I was 18. So I don't have much experience there.
Is there a part of the country where you have friends/family that you want to move to? Look there for jobs.
Do you make friends easily? If so, move where the best job is.
Do you ache for London? If so, you will have to down size a bit, but the social life might make up for it.
What ever you do, good luck. goodLuck.gif
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#9 amber_piano

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 16:21

I moved from Reading to Durham for my job about 18 months ago and have never regretted it. My job is very specialised, so I accepted when I choose this career that I would have to move to get work. I'd been living with my parents and when I came up to Durham, my boyfriend (now my husband) moved with me, so I wasn't alone. I also didn't have a house or anything to sell, but I haven't looked back.

Yes, it's a bit colder up here, and being 250 miles from my family really sucks sometimes, but I love the quality of life up here. It seems so much less crowded than Reading. Also, house prices are much more reasonable. I brought a 3 bedroom house for £57000. I'd never have been able to do that down south!

Obviously, you need to make the right choice for you. I just wanted to say that sometimes it can work out really well to take a chance and move a distance to get a job you really want.

Best of luck whatever you decide.

goodLuck.gif
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#10 wurlitzer

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 16:27

QUOTE(amber_piano @ Aug 14 2009, 05:21 PM) View Post

I moved from Reading to Durham for my job about 18 months ago and have never regretted it. My job is very specialised, so I accepted when I choose this career that I would have to move to get work. I'd been living with my parents and when I came up to Durham, my boyfriend (now my husband) moved with me, so I wasn't alone. I also didn't have a house or anything to sell, but I haven't looked back.

Yes, it's a bit colder up here, and being 250 miles from my family really sucks sometimes, but I love the quality of life up here. It seems so much less crowded than Reading. Also, house prices are much more reasonable. I brought a 3 bedroom house for £57000. I'd never have been able to do that down south!

Obviously, you need to make the right choice for you. I just wanted to say that sometimes it can work out really well to take a chance and move a distance to get a job you really want.

Best of luck whatever you decide.

goodLuck.gif


Its not that cold up here in Durham biggrin.gif
I mean a little rain today, but its not that cold tongue.gif
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#11 Aeolienne

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 20:45

QUOTE(The Old Lady @ Aug 14 2009, 04:27 PM) View Post

The only time I moved for a job was when I was 18. So I don't have much experience there.
Is there a part of the country where you have friends/family that you want to move to? Look there for jobs.
Do you make friends easily?

To be brutally honest, no, not very (Asperger's syndrome). Maybe I should just resign myself to the fact that I'll be lonely wherever I am. That is, unless there are places to live where it's noticeably easier to make friends. Some of my acquaintances have suggested that Exeter is harder to make friends in than other places, because of its small-town mentality which means the locals tend to attend social events in groups and anyone who attends on their own is regarded with suspicion or hostility. On the other hand, loneliness is supposed to be more common in bigger cities.

My family (immediate plus most of the extended) live in London and the South-East. I had hoped when I moved out west that they would take the opportunity to come and visit me and discover this part of the country, but visits have been very few and far between.

QUOTE(The Old Lady @ Aug 14 2009, 04:27 PM) View Post

Do you ache for London?

When I finished university one of my immediate ambitions was to get a job beyond the confines of the M25 so I could move away from my parents. In my own words of that time: "There's nothing keeping me in London: my one-time friends are all doing their own thing and I feel under no obligation to stick around". There was also the pragmatic realisation that I could never aspire to a place of my own (short of shacking up with someone very rich, which seemed as unlikely then as it does now). Oddly enough, I was praised for my apparent bravery in taking the step to move away. As I saw it, I was just doing what I wanted to do, and one could even argue that it would have been braver for me to live at home - after all I was moving away because I was more frightened of what would would happen if I didn't. I suppose people's reactions merely reflected the almost universal assumption that if you're a Londoner born and bred you couldn't want to live and work anywhere else after graduation. No-one bats an eyelid at a Londoner moving beyond the M25 to study, but afterwards you're expected to return to the capital for good. (Why?)


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#12 thouston

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 13:58

I moved to Italy biggrin.gif

Lots of people have already offered some good advice (eg weighing up your priorities etc). Listing not only the things that you want but also the deal-breakers is very helpful (mine was never to work in London - after 5 weeks in a job just after Uni I realised that I just couldn't cope with the noise, the crowds or the commute).

I would also add "be open to opportunity".
That's what happened to me...I wasn't actually looking to move abroad (I wasn't even looking for a job) when the chance came. But I would now say that it's the best thing I've ever done.

Remember that applying for a job, even going to an interview and being offered a position - does not mean that you are obliged to say "yes". There is nothing wrong in applying for anything, anywhere and using the occasion as an opportunity for a fact-finding mission.

PS I worked for the scientific CS for over 20 years, quite a lot of that in a staff representational position. If you want to bounce any ideas around regarding your impending legal action you're welcome to pm smile.gif
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#13 ianporsche

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 05:41

I grew up in Bradford
Degree in Sunderland
PhD in Newcastle
Postdoc in Bath
Postdoc in Nottingham
Postdoc in Sunderland
Job in Durham
Now work in Oxfordshire

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#14 davidmackay

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 14:20

QUOTE(Aeolienne @ Aug 14 2009, 09:45 PM) View Post

To be brutally honest, no, not very (Asperger's syndrome). Maybe I should just resign myself to the fact that I'll be lonely wherever I am. That is, unless there are places to live where it's noticeably easier to make friends. Some of my acquaintances have suggested that Exeter is harder to make friends in than other places, because of its small-town mentality which means the locals tend to attend social events in groups and anyone who attends on their own is regarded with suspicion or hostility. On the other hand, loneliness is supposed to be more common in bigger cities.


Your points about loneliness are very relevant when job-hunting. Whenever I have recruited someone in the past, they have generally been local. I have occassionally interviewed people from other parts of the country and asked questions like - Do you have any friends / family in this area? If they don't, then I'll be taking a chance that the person may not settle socially and end up leaving to return 'home'. This is more important for persons who are single than someone who is bringing a partner and children as it's easier to get by as part of a close family, than if you are completely on your own. Of course, there is also a long standing tradition of graduates leaving the provinces to work in London and the question wouldn't really be raised. If you are not a new graduate, then I think my question becomes more important.

The job location is also important. For example, a job in a city centre provides much more opportunity for socialising with colleagues than one in an out of town location where everyone drives to work. So, if you are going to a new job, and that job is not 'downtown', then you can expect it to be pretty tough socially and for recruiters to at least think of, if not ask, my question.


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#15 nicki_flute

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 20:57

QUOTE(wurlitzer @ Aug 14 2009, 05:27 PM) View Post

QUOTE(amber_piano @ Aug 14 2009, 05:21 PM) View Post

I moved from Reading to Durham for my job about 18 months ago and have never regretted it. My job is very specialised, so I accepted when I choose this career that I would have to move to get work. I'd been living with my parents and when I came up to Durham, my boyfriend (now my husband) moved with me, so I wasn't alone. I also didn't have a house or anything to sell, but I haven't looked back.

Yes, it's a bit colder up here, and being 250 miles from my family really sucks sometimes, but I love the quality of life up here. It seems so much less crowded than Reading. Also, house prices are much more reasonable. I brought a 3 bedroom house for £57000. I'd never have been able to do that down south!

Obviously, you need to make the right choice for you. I just wanted to say that sometimes it can work out really well to take a chance and move a distance to get a job you really want.

Best of luck whatever you decide.

goodLuck.gif


Its not that cold up here in Durham biggrin.gif
I mean a little rain today, but its not that cold tongue.gif

Lots of Durhamness in the thread...I am not looking forward to going back to the autumn weather tongue.gif

Don't have anything to add, but finding this thread interesting as when I graduate I will be facing the same dilemma. smile.gif
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