A world map.

Life Beyond the Midwest

As a non-native Minnesotan one thing that strikes me is how loyal Minnesotans are to this land of 10,000+ lakes.   Don’t get me wrong, this state, specifically the Twin Cities, has much to offer from boasting home to 20  Fortune 500 companies (third largest of any U.S. metro) to an array of outdoor adventures appeasing any REI enthusiast.  However, having grown up and spent most of my adult life on the west coast, I find this geographic devotion unusual.  Many of the friends I grew up with have traveled outside of CA for work and accepted job transfers to other regions in the US.  This readiness to relocate is not typical of Minnesotans and according to a recent Harvard Business Review article, this unwillingness to take your job search national might not be the wisest decision, particularly if you are a recent graduate.

With an unemployment rate that is improving but still hovering around 9%, being open minded about location is wise for a job seeker.  The number of workers who relocated for work was at a record low in 2011 (11.2%), down from 20% in 1985. Yet 32% of companies say they would be willing to pay for relocation expenses for the right hire.  So why the disconnect?  There are several reasons why many Americans stay rooted ranging from fear of the unknown to family obligations.

As a job seeker, however, it’s smart to evaluate your priorities and consider whether relocation will help you achieve your ultimate career goals.  Rather than limiting yourself to a specific region take a look at what skills and opportunities you are looking to gain from a position.  Then take your search national.  There are many positions out there that offer the opportunity to gain the skills you need to get your to your 5, 10, and 20 year goals.  Those positions may or may not be in the Twin Cities.

So branch out, explore all opportunities, and really evaluate what is most important to you career wise.  Remember Minnesota will always be here and who knows you might end up finding another state feels like home just as much as our North Star State.