It’s possible to freelance from almost anywhere, but some locations are better for work than others. If you need to jump on a plane, and not a train, to meet many of your clients, that’s a real obstacle. I’ve known many freelancers who found that it was better for their careers to live in or near a major city.
But moving to find work is a big deal, whether you’re doing it for your own career or for your mate’s, so it’s important to consider the tradeoffs carefully.
In our latest post for the AARP’s Life Reimagined site, “Moving to find a job,” we look at some of the key factors to consider before you move.
Some of the tips that experts shared with us were not what you’d expect. For instance, one leadership coach suggested looking at the number of corporate headquarters in an area you’re considering. That way, if you ever find yourself looking for a job, you’ll have more opportunities. We also discuss cost-of-living calculators that can help you figure out what it will really cost to maintain your lifestyle in a new place. Contrary to what many of us expect, a move to a small town may not be cheaper than living in a city.
Moving is an emotional decision, too. Sometimes, it’s not possible to live in the place you’d like, because of high housing costs, a spouse’s commute, or something else, and you’ve got to find creative solutions.
I’ve always loved cities and until my oldest children were five, spent most of my adult life living in them. But once my husband and I had four children, it became clear that it was too expensive to educate them in the way we wanted in an urban area, so we moved to a suburban town with schools we liked. We live in a beautiful, friendly town, but there are many aspects of being very close to Manhattan that I miss on a daily basis.
My solution, for now, is to make sure we plan regular activities in other places, so I can recharge by being around the cultural activities I love. Making a conscious effort to do that has helped me discover some new places I’d like to return, like the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, N.J. Maybe someday I’ll write a best-seller and we’ll be able to keep a pied-a-terre in Manhattan, but for now day trips to places like this provide an interesting alternative.