Opinion

Column: Small towns, unique experiences

To move or not to move for your first job, that is the question.

In this day and age and economic climate, being a new university or college grad can be a frightening and unnerving experience.

Headlines in the media seem to consistently highlight the bleak job prospects in a variety of different professions, while post-secondary institutions continue to churn out more and more grads.

The scarcity of jobs and large demographic of talented prospects makes for unfavourable odds of employment in the city.

Another challenge is the loss of entry-level jobs.

In order to snag your first job related to your education, experience is usually a requirement. And generally, as a new grad, most of your work history entails time spent behind a coffee counter or on the sales floor at a retail store.

The dilemma is somewhat mind-boggling.

You can’t get a job unless you have experience, but you can’t get experience without first attaining a job. It’s hard to figure out how to enter the job market when the main obstruction is a contradiction.

Many young people are taking jobs in customer service and the hospitality industry to supplement their income while they search for their first career-paving position.

Depending on your field, whether you’re in the teaching, engineering, medical or journalism industries, jobs are in places far away from Canada’s metropolises.

The greatest benefit for a young person is receiving experience in his or her respective profession.

Moving to and living in a small town is also an opportunity to embark on that long-awaited rural adventure – given that you have a desire to explore a different region and lifestyle.

Small towns are generally on the periphery of the wilderness, with plenty to see and do in terms of outdoor activities.

There’s also the benefit of increased job security.

Small towns, on occasion, have difficulty recruiting talent, as many people are reluctant to leave the comforts of the city.

You may also be given the opportunity to learn more and hold a larger number of responsibilities than you would have in the city, as there are generally fewer staff at small-town operations.

The experience you receive in a small town as a permanent, full-time employee will bulk up your resumé for job applications in the city.

The downsides include starting new, adjusting to small-town life and leaving behind family, friends and the city’s bright lights.

Small towns also offer different forms of entertainment, which some people either can or can’t embrace.

Staying in the city and fighting for a spot in the workplace is an admirable ambition. Some succeed, but many of us don’t.

In general, to write off a small town is to lose out on opportunities.

How much do you really want to do what you do, if you aren’t willing to make a few sacrifices along the way?

 

Sharron Ho is a reporter with the Sooke News Mirror.

 

 

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