The Clash aren’t the only ones asking “should I stay or should I go” anymore, this sentiment is on the lips of the recently graduated, recently laid off and those stuck in shrinking towns throughout America wondering if there’s more somewhere else. Starting over or starting out has never been a more calculated decision based on geography since early the American settlers. Apparently we are always looking for greener pastures since the average American worker now changes jobs in less than 5 years. Long term employment benefits have vanished along with the dream of security via tenure. Restless and vigorous, more than 10% of Americans moved cities for personal or economic reasons between 2011 and 2012.
The growing number of start-ups, incubators, crowd funding platforms and collaborative ventures demonstrate the health of our entrepreneurial human race and the rapid growth of freelancing and flextime opportunities have changed the workplace forever. Companies and employees are less tied to their locations and able to search a broader, national scale for opportunities and find the “right fit”, instead of the “right now”. Considering a move to another city in search of work, to start your own business or even just to improve your scenery involves some simple analyzing of basic criteria you will need to factor, as highlighted by Forbes in a recent article. Along with the economic opportunities, the cost of living and access to good schools (if you are raising a family) some other basic criteria failed to make the consideration list but are just as important as access to more money and a superior education.
First there is the temperature to consider, not just the physical thermometer but the community and activities. Your business and ethical ideals should align with your communities, if you like the hustle and bustle of the city don’t move to a rural town aiming to “spice things up”. Drastic changes even in physical temperature can be catastrophic and shocking to the system and your productivity. The climate of a community dictates your comfort level, the viability of business and best opportunities for growth. Investigating the highs and lows prior to selecting a location is a fundamental part of such calculated decision.
Accessibility is equally essential. Being able to move easily around the city or town for visitors and residents is critical. Living or working in a labyrinth will neither satisfy friends, family nor potential clients. Making certain there are plenty of ways into and out of your city is a key ingredient to settling down in a new town or expanding your business to alternate locations. Opportunities for growth and prospects of entertaining activities must also be on the map. After all, a lifestyle is often associated with a place, making certain that the type of entertainment for play is accessible is equally important.
Forbes magazine featured a list of the top ten cities where people are moving to statistically, most of which have a population growth of about 20,000 residents in the last year. While Riverside, California did make the list, San Diego, and surrounding Southern California areas continue steady growth instead of a nomadic spike. This great migration may not be a permanent change for many considering the popularity of “job jumping”, however the mobile workforce of today can truly plant their roots wherever the climate bests suits them. Notably, according to the Farmer’s Almanac, San Diego is one of the top ten best climates in America and historically is the birthplace of the golden state of California. For those of us in San Diego the secret of our success is based on balance, we play just as hard as we work, the climate is always accommodating, accessibility is effortless, and the individual communities are diverse with endless opportunities for just about anyone not afraid to wear shades, because in Southern California, our future is that bright, and most of us aren’t going anywhere.