It’s hard to believe in the midst of today’s modern hustle and bustle that not so long ago commuting to work entailed little more than a short horseback ride to the nearest town or a leisurely 15-minute stroll a few blocks away. With ever rising real estate prices and a move towards a split between urban and suburban settings, however, today’s job seeker can typically expect a commute that’s a tad bit longer. According to recent studies, the modern commuter can expect to spend upwards of an hour commuting on a daily basis.
Live near a larger city with a high cost of living? Housing affordability and quality of life concerns may push that number up as younger workers and growing families attempt to find a bit more room in their living situation.
Whether by auto, train, bus or other methods, these stats mean that anyone on the job hunt should be prepared to answer important questions about just how far they are willing to commute for that new job or career. Looking at a job move that involves a commute? We’ve put together a handy list of six keys to determining if a job commute will work for you.
How will you pull off the commute?
The first factor to take into consideration when deciding whether a commute will work for you is just how you’re going to go about getting into the office. Not all forms of transportation are created equal. Rail lines can be expensive and difficult to access if you’re not within a short distance of a direct route, but trains also provide opportunities for working, reading or engaging in other activities. Driving, on the other hand, can often be stressful but provides flexibility with schedules. Bus and car shares are other great options to investigate as a starting spot for your research.
How much will it cost?
Another factor that should weigh heavily on your decision whether to commute is the cost of travel. Daily train fares, gas and wear and tear on your personal vehicle, tolls and parking expenses can all add up. Carefully plot out how much your commuting expenses will impact your weekly or monthly paycheck before deciding on a commute. Don’t forget to ask about any employer subsidies for using mass transit or ride shares as this could be a perk that adds value to a lengthier commute.
How flexible are your work hours?
Will your boss be the type that expects their employees to show up at 9am on the dot, every day? If your route of travel suffers frequent delays or is on a set schedule with minimal options, positions with less flexible working hours may not be entirely commuter friendly. Even when opting to drive, accidents and poor road conditions can add significant time to your commute. Flexible start and end hours may be the ticket to a reasonable commute.
What opportunities will the new job bring?
While the cost and hassle of a commute is one half of the equation, the other part to consider is just what you may be gaining in exchange for that headache. If the job you’d be accepting has big potential to make your career or will provide invaluable experience, it may be worth a longer commute in order to gain those opportunities. Salary, room for advancement and uniqueness of the position should all be weighed when deciding on how much commuting you’re willing to undertake for a role.
How likely are you to find a job closer to home?
If the distance of the potential position has you feeling a bit daunted, ask yourself whether a similar or better role may be found closer to home. If you enjoy living in a small city and have a particular skill set, this may be a difficult proposition.
Simply Hired’s job search radius filter is a great tool to help would be job seekers explore options within a set distance. Simply change your criteria for geographic location and you’ll be in the know regarding local positions that may help ease commuting woes.
Is relocating an option?
If your home is too far from your job, why not move a little closer? If you’re not set in your current housing situation, a move closer to work may be just what the commuting doctor ordered. Before choosing to take the drastic route, however, be sure to think all of the opportunity costs through. Items such as moving expenses, deposits, lease commissions and any increase in the cost of living should all be carefully weighed into the equation.
Are you a commuting beast or have you recently had to make the travel more or less decision on your own? Drop us a line of just what swayed your decision and maybe your comments will be featured in a future update.