Is Local Employment Becoming Irrelevant?
Since the pandemic, an increasing number of companies are opting to hire remote employees to work for them. Some careers lend themselves to that scenario more easily than others. My work in marketing communications is easily done remotely and so, technically, I can live anywhere while I work for a living. It sounds really sexy to think of living in Europe while working for a North American company.
I cannot deny that the idea of working from home or working from a whole other country appeals to me. I moved to a small town three years ago, simply because it allowed me to live very inexpensively. It turns out I was at the front end of a trend that got propelled by the pandemic.
Now that more companies are able to accommodate remote workers, small towns all over Canada are being flooded by city dwellers. Inexpensive housing and the opportunity to avoid a ghastly commute to the office are very appealing reasons to relocate. The question is, will the local job market, as we know it, become irrelevant?
I can tell you first hand, the business of trying to drum up business in a community where you have no connections is not that easy. I grew up in a small town but I forgot how local employers and politicians look after their own. Anything you want to do in a small town will be much harder to implement when you don’t have history with a community. No matter how nice people are to you or who you know, you will never know them well enough to be given preference for a job or a contract. That will go to a relative or neighbour first.
I recently decided to move back to the big city I came here from partly for that reason. That, and being cut off from family and friends. The pandemic only exacerbated an already difficult situation.
I see ads posted for remote work, and theoretically, I could get one of those positions, but consider the degree of competition. I think what many people flocking to rural areas don’t realize, is that you will need a lot more than an internet connection to get a job in the future.
Right now, they are moving to small towns because they already have a job and their boss doesn’t mind them working from another town, but think about what will happen when the job dries up. The next time they have to apply for a job, they will no longer be competing with 400 other applicants from their city. It will be more like 40,000 from all over the country, and maybe even from other countries. Good luck trying to get noticed.
I personally believe, the push to work remotely will make the local job market more relevant than ever, but in a different way. I believe we will be forced to really forge relationships with people and access jobs that way. Making personal connections with people will become even more important, and your ability to be where employers are located will be more critical than ever. Just wait a few years and see.
Meanwhile, I am heading back to the city where I can talk about business with business owners and build face to face relationships in a post pandemic world.
Are you ready to grow your business?
I am passionate about helping business owners get the most out of their marketing. Visit www.reneecormier.com
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