Slide 2: Some areas that seem like obvious choices for a career could actually be dead ends. One big example is technology and the Bay Area. According to an article in eWeek, the high cost of living and the rise of telecommuting are decreasing the Silicon Valley’s power as a technological hub. “A $70,000 salary in the San Francisco valley doesn’t even ensure that an individual will break even,” according to the article. While that kind of money might allow you to live comfortably in a city like Miami or Phoenix, everything from homes to gas to food costs more in the Bay Area, and you don’t want your entire paycheck going to rent or a house payment.
Slide 3: Keep in mind that workers in large metropolitan cities make more money then those in small towns. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that workers in cities made an average of $19.37 an hour, compared to the $14.63 hourly wage in smaller towns. Workers in the Mid-Atlantic region including New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania made the most money at $21.19 an hour, and the East South Central region (including Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi) made an average of $14.66 an hour. Wages can vary drastically based on region and city size, and you always have to take cost of living into account.
Slide 4: Keeping costs low isn’t the only way to be happy in a new city. The quality of life in a city is hard to measure, and is different for every person. If you love to lose yourself in art galleries, the museum districts in Houston or San Francisco might be more important to you than how much you pay for rent in those areas. Contact a city’s tourism board or research online with a list of things that matter to you.
Slide 5: From schools to weather, healthcare to housing, you have a lot to think about when it comes to a move. When your list of possibilities is narrowed down, look at the list in terms of your education and career options. Keeping your education and training in mind, use employment Web sites and city statistics to estimate the demand for your work.
Slide 6: Moving to a city with a higher demand for your field will make it easier to move if you don’t already have an employment plan. If technology is your field, for example, consider cities like New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Boston, where tech jobs are booming. If you want to continue your education but you don’t want to live in a college town, consider taking courses online, where you’ll have the freedom to work on your degree from anywhere in the world.