Jobs! Coming to a town somewhere near you

The option of moving somewhere for work is a prospect that graduates can find daunting and are easily put off by it, preferring to stay near to home. But should you be? Is the world really as bad out there, out of your safe suburban home town?

Final year students and graduates will have faced the option as their studies draw to a close, do you:

A) Stay near your university, make ends meet by working menial low paid jobs?


B) Head back to Mum and Dad and prepare for an all-out assault on the graduate job market?

The dilemma can be tricky and will never be as straight forward as that, with many subjective factors determining where you choose to take your next step. One thing that you should always remember is that employment will not come to you!

Should I stay or should I go?

There are obviously hundreds of considerations you need to bear in mind when you choose either moving home, moving elsewhere or staying put. A lot of this depends on where you are based, where you are from, where home is, whether you've got a room to go back to?

What do I know?

Exhibit A: I'm from Beverley, a smallish town not far from Hull - very much marooned in the East Yorkshire countryside. Bless my beloved Northern town but the job opportunities were hardly brimming. So what did I do? I worked in a pub for just over a year, scraping by to keep living in London. Trust me on £6.25 an hour, it was not easy. But, before you get the violins out, it allowed me access to the opportunities available in the capital and try and get a career in writing.

Exhibit B: A friend of mine on the other hand, returned home for several months and sent his applications out at a rate of knots and utilised his list of Facebook friends to find sofas to sleep on while he was interviewing around the country. He has now managed to settle in a Manchester and has established himself in an Accountancy firm and found himself new circle of friends

If you are feeling less adventurous and brave, moving home is not the end of the world. It can be difficult if you return and find a full fridge, a warm house and your Mum's dinner on the table at regimented times. But soon enough, you'll realise why you left. My advice here is to explore places you might like to work. It could be Manchester and its hard-faced Victorian architecture, Glasgow and the majestic River Clyde or Birmingham and its booming industrial heart - exploring these places will give you a sense of what life could be like if take jobs around the country.

First Question to ask yourself: Where are the opportunities? And what my chances?

The Opportunity Wager

Do you risk it all and up sticks before you find a job? This will be the main stumbling block for graduates wanting to pursue their dream job. Unfortunately, and as you may expect, the majority of strictly defined "graduate opportunities" remain in the capital.

All graduates are going to have to consider London when they begin their graduate job hunt. It is almost unavoidable and you will struggle if you are totally against the idea. And why not? London is one of the most cosmopolitan and vibrant cities on the planet. It's busy, chaotic and brash, who doesn't want that in their early 20s? Graduates should not be afraid of its vastness, worried about the Tube or the London attitude of not speaking to anyone and just being as rude as possible, but realise it has got it going on.

All of this does come at a price. And this affects all other sorts of relocation issues graduates might face. It's the difficulty of moving. Financial demands can be quite harsh, especially when moving to a new place and trying to find the right place to live. Rent, deposit, bills, food travel, phone bill, internet, line rental... the list is endless and all seems to come at once when you're moving, so having the cash behind you to deal with this, especially when jobs and interview processes move so fast, can be a real challenge.

Second question to ask yourself: Do I risk it all and move there? Do I find a job when I get there and make ends meet?

Coming to a town near you

By the time graduation come and gone, you might have a decent idea of where and what you'd like to be. Whether this has been formed over time from experience or interest in particular aspects of work and learning or it has long been a childhood dream. If you do have this dream job in your perfect location, be ready to sway from it slightly.

More often than not you will not walk into your dream job and nor will it be easy. So be ready to take baby steps towards it. Where's the fun otherwise?

Third Question to ask yourself: Will this new town or city going to help me reach my dream? Will it be good long term?

Example time

My brother had two options when he had finished part of his legal training. He could either take an offer with a smaller, local firm, earning very nicely but with a very steady and slow career path ahead of him. Or he could take an offer from a bigger firm, based in the London. He took the offer of the big firm, not because he particularly wanted to move to The Smoke, but the career path was better further down the line

I am not trying to persuade you that all graduates should tie their knotted handkerchiefs and follow Dick Whittington to London. In fact more graduate employers are starting to look further North, with Newcastle highlighted as a prime example. The Head of the Association of Graduate Recruiters pointed out that different sectors are starting to move out of London and the South East. Stephan Isherwood said "if you look closely at the sectors such as Engineering or Accountancy, where many of the best jobs are now in the Midlands, it is clear that top firms are not nearly as London-Centric as they once were."

You need to realise that the opportunities are not going to come to you and a reluctance to move might hinder your chances in the short term and ambitions long term.

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Careers Advice

  1. how to find graduate job
  2. what the hell am I going to do now?
  3. define your personal brand
  4. there's no such thing as an inexperienced graduate
  5. make an instant impact
  6. identifying your skills
  7. the commercial awareness checklist
  8. 6 emotions you will have when looking at job descriptions
  9. 2.2 degree? Your life isn't over
  10. work experience
  11. what employers are looking for
  12. graduate job match?
  13. the recruitment calendar
  14. the market
  15. Be realistic
  16. graduate salaries
  17. graduate cv advice
  18. graduate cv what to include
  19. presenting your cv
  20. covering letters
  21. graduate job hunting
  22. making a good application
  23. do the basics well
  24. 5 interview disasters you can avoid
  25. you're going to get some this is how you learn from them
  26. succeed at interview
  27. graduate assessment centres
  28. 3 reasons small companies are perfect for graduates
  29. jobs! Coming to a town somewhere near you!
  30. accepting job offers
  31. take a risk
  32. 3 heartbreaking truths about your first paycheque
  33. a graduate guide to student loans
  34. FAQs