A common thing we tend to hear from Vancouverites when looking for new jobs and new career opportunities is that they don’t really want to move away from Vancouver for work. But would they move for a Career?
“Definitely, without a doubt you have to look beyond where you feel at the time is the most desired place to live. And if that is in fact where you’re most comfortable, I’d say step out of your comfort zone and look elsewhere, because there is a whole world of possibilities. Not just Vancouver, not just BC, not just Canada, you can go, go wherever you’re wanted, and where you’re most rewarded I’d say.”
That’s Ryan Staschuk, a born and bred Vancouverite who is a Certified Accountant for a mining company in Prince Rupert. He did what some people do after their school, he got out of the city to kick start his career, instead of wallowing at the bottom of the pack, and the bottom of the resume pile waiting for the right job to come along here in Vancouver. By doing that 4 years ago, he’s likely surpassed his classmates who chose to stay in the city.
The one thing we hear from a lot of young people in Vancouver is they want to stay, they want to build a life, and they want to build a career, but they’re not always willing to give up the luxury of living in a big city.
So why did Ryan decide to get out of dodge?
“Well that was a few years back now. I’ve been in Prince Rupert for four years. Basically just decided to leave because of the promise for the sort of pot of gold at the end of the rainbow when you’re finished your studies going into any professional designation, doesn’t always pan out to be what you’re expecting. And I went to, I went searching further abroad than, than Vancouver for exactly that, just so there’s a large supply of accountants and the job market was not what it once was.”
So that was 4 years ago, how’s he doing now? Did he hit the career jackpot?
“Well I’ve been promoted. I have a different title now, more in business development, a manager of business development and finance, pretty soon assistant controller. So I’ve been working a lot more, a lot more excitement actually within the job, looking at new products through the company and developing new lines of business that could last us a very long time.”
So it’s safe to say he’s doing well, but does he miss Vancouver? Does he miss his friends? Does he miss being able to go to Rogers Arena to see a Canucks game or a concert? I’m sure he does, who wouldn’t?
A lot of us want our lives to be an adventure, but the irony creeps in when that very same person who says they want an adventure, want to stay where they grew up, because that’s what they know. That’s not an adventure, that settling down.
Here’s the adventure, pack up everything you own and move away to a new place that you’ve never been before, now that’s an adventure.
So Ryan moved, and he’s having his adventure, and building a solid career for himself. Is there any desire for him to come back to Vancouver and walk into a job he’s now qualified for?
“So I don’t really have any intense desire to move back to the city just given the immense cost for, cost of living, and living outside of that, realizing how much other areas have to offer. It’s great to come back to Vancouver as a tourist but I don’t remember enjoying it that much when I was living there. I think the cost of living would have to come down a lot for me to entertain offers back in Vancouver, than looking at offers as far abroad as the East coast of the United States, as well as in London as well. Those are sort of more of the locales I’d be looking at going outside of Canada, even in the next move. Mind you there is a lot of bubbling opportunity within the Prince Rupert area with some potential behind the LNG industry, and as well in my current role there’s a lot of potential in our company for bringing some new interesting products on line.”
So let’s talk isolation, can that itself be the career killer? Or can you build a brand for yourself via professional social media?
“Yeah, certainly. I mean I get contacted by recruiters from time to time given my involvement in the social networking side of, LinkedIn and what not and then though the professional association as well. And they do tell me that the level of exposure, that breadth of exposure I’ve recently gotten in my current position just because of where I am, it’s not as easy to get people on my field to come to work. I’ve been exposed to a lot than others have in a similar situation and in similar companies, in the Lower Mainland, and I think it bodes well for the resume and for applying to new jobs definitely.”
So don’t be afraid of the moving away option, I can tell you from personal experience that building a career in a smaller city will give you better skills over your equals in the long run, allowing you to come back to the city and walk into the job that you’ve always wanted.