Relocating for professional or personal reasons often is a thought many people have, either to fulfill career advancements, or to improve the ever more important work life balance. How do those thoughts become reality and how much of a step is it to actually execute?
Having made a significant move nearly two years ago it feels right to share some personal experience and to sprinkle in some professional opinion on the Construction market in the region whilst doing so.
Juggling Act
To start with be prepared to get multiple options and scenarios up in the air simultaneously, whilst the implication is not to suggest one becomes a specialist circus act, reaching a point where you will be making multiple key decisions in the order you want to make them takes effort at the front end. Explore a range of housing options, and if needs be career opportunities, your preferred options may well change throughout your decision making process to reflect your ever evolving feelings.
Patience
Working in a targeted environment is challenging and inspiring however patience isn’t something that comes naturally. Getting to a position where we felt totally settled and adjusted to a new, slower paced life in the South West took time. Equally forging new relationships both professionally and personally doesn’t happen overnight, keep in touch with those people you have left behind and make time for new friendships.
Decisiveness
Have no illusions that when you get to a certain point you will need to take the plunge on those very important life decisions. Moving house and job are considered to be two of the most stressful life changes out there, so compartmentalise your decisions and remember you can change things in the future, finding the ideal scenario from day one after relocating is unlikely, however give it a year or so and its very probable you will look contently with a smile on your face whilst giving yourself a pat on the back for the effort endured.
Construction in the SW
Having left behind an established City & South East network, recruiting in a new region and sector was always going to be a big challenge, “back yourself and get on with it” I told myself. In reality was I prepared for it?, probably not in hindsight!. However, people here in the SW generally have more time for you especially in person so with some perseverance we got there.
The sector must be considered a world apart from the South East, infrastructure is still poor in some areas, to be successful individuals and businesses need an exclusive focus in the region as do you in my humble opinion. It operates in a traditional manner with quality being key, supported by quality relationships.
Be prepared to drive!, working in London and commuting by train annual mileage was low, it’s now comfortably north of 20,000. There are less train lines so ensure you are set for driving to meetings to build those relationships.
Housing and Infrastructure are the top two construction sectors in the SW, followed closely by industrial and commercial. Having said that the SW and Exeter especially are fast growing and with more homes, comes an economic demand, the new Ikea in Exeter being an example. As a family we made the decision partly on the basis that growth here will outstrip that in the very mature and established South East economy. So far we have not seen reason to doubt our opinion.
To conclude
On the whole salaries are lower here, but so is the cost of property (at the moment). Opportunities are there but the best ones can take time to really uncover, you need to be eating and breathing in the region. Quality of life, the main reason we made the move, is most definitely better. I have at least 5-10 hours more time per week Monday to Friday to enjoy the family and what the South West has to offer outside of the work life.
Go on, relocate and get involved, the waters warm!
For more information on the Construction sector or for friendly advice and tips on making the move please contact me on 01392 493347 or joeknowles@girlingjones.com