Relocating for a new job: An exercise in your ability to predict the future.

Posted by on Feb 11, 2015 in articles, Design, personal | No Comments

I recently left my job at Confused.com of which I had been there for 3 years and 8 months.

I was looking for a new job for around 4 months prior to me leaving. There are many reasons I wanted to leave Confused.com and equally many reasons I really didn’t want to leave, but this blog post isn’t about those reasons.

I was in a unique position where I was willing and able to consider jobs all over the country and internationally so I was looking as far a field as Canada and as close to home as my city of 10+ years, Cardiff. I was however, keen to move away from Cardiff and get to know a new creative scene.

I applied for jobs in Bristol, Royal Lemington Spa, Edinburgh, Oxford, Birmingham, Exeter and of course the typical choice London.

Now London is where I want to focus.

There aren’t a huge shortage of jobs in the creative and digital sector in London (at varying salaries and benefits) and chances are if you’re skilled and confident you’ll be able to secure employment there which is within your living costs (the challenge) but when faced with the decision to move from a ‘growth area’ (such as South Wales) where job progression is slower to what may seem a more attractive salary in London (in actuality, after working out increase in living costs and tax, could be much less attractive. Do your maths people!) you can find yourself spoiled for choice and over eager. Especially since working in London can be a status symbol or a ‘right of passage’ for most 20-somethings.

Now onto the personal aspect of this blog. I was offered a 30k salary plus benefits, an attractive role growth roadmap, international links in the company, relocation award and the chance to work solo on a very well-known international brand on some high-profile campaigns.

The work content more than the salary was what made my decision difficult to finally make. I was excited at the prospect of working on these projects and potentially establishing a name for myself in the capital.

But I had more to consider than myself…my sister had just given birth to her gorgeous son, my nephew and the first boy in the family in 18+ years. My parents were ageing and in questionable health. My partner was nervous at the prospect of a long distance relationship (especially knowing my work-a-holic tendencies which would strain Skype-time)

I took a long weekend to think it over and I did. Intensively. I talked to family, partner, friends, people who I rarely saw and gathered opinions. I finally decided that for me, it was just too far away from my family and hometown. This was a realization born of this option set before me. I’d discovered something that had become more important to me than certain details of my career and felt both happy about this and simultaneously disappointed at the creative work I would miss out on (a short lived disappointment).

Now I could spend a whole paragraph now at how horrendously I was spoken to when I turned down the offer. How it was explained to me that it was now my fault they had to re-interview and how much trouble I’d caused them by not accepting their generous offer. I could tell you about how stunned I was at the vitriol poured down the phone towards me and how I was speechless at what to say back other than…’I’m sorry?’ only to be told a sorry wasn’t good enough and how I should ‘Not bother applying for jobs unless you want to take them’ and how I ‘should get my ducks in a row (My family and personal life presumably) before even looking for a job’ before being hung up on (my would-be manager no less)

Oh wait I did do a whole paragraph…oh dear.

That conversation profoundly affected my confidence for the next 3 months of job searching before I fully realized that people who would talk to somebody like that are not the kind of people I would want to be working for.

I stayed comfortably in my job at Confused.com until I received another offer, staying in Cardiff, which I accepted.

Shortly after I started at my now current job at LexisNexis my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

I’d never been more relived at my prioritization of my life and the people who are important to me over an seemingly attractive job offer. I feel that part of me knew that this was a possibility when I declined the job, but who could say?

So the lesson here?

– Take your time to think about what’s important to you in life and do your research before you accept a new job that relocates you.

– Think about the future as much as you conceivably can. This may not come naturally if you’re impulsive but you can assess your needs and the needs of those you care about (on paper if you need to)

– Think about your time scales. Can you do this change for what time period? where do you want to be and what do you want to have achieved in 1 year, 2 years etc?

– Talk to those you care about, listen to them, take on board their advice and let it help you inform your decision but by no means ask someone else to decide for you.

– Trust your instincts. if something doesn’t quite feel right, assess and think about that feeling and try to extrapolate why.

Thanks for reading,

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