In late August 2012 I wrote a blog post entitled “Should I Stay or Should I Go” after a famous song from the 1980s by the English punk rock group The Clash. Aside from the significance of being included in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, I find much wisdom contained in the provocative question asked by that song title. Here is an early-December 2012 update for you.
Elsewhere on Ned’s Job of the Week I referred to the journey of creating or repairing your personal brand when you are engaged in a search for new career employment. Sometimes, however, a person needs to take a literal journey to different physical location where searching for new career employment will be augmented.
I will share my own personal and professional experiences to help you if you are currently engaged in a search for new career employment. I relocated from Phoenix, Arizona in 1995 to take a Washington, DC executive speechwriting career job. I am one of those people who loves living in the Desert Southwest, but the career employment opportunity in DC had to become my main priority.
Relocating from the desert to DC was one of those famous Life Changing Experiences, to say the least. I believe that there is very little that DC shares in common with life in the western deserts of the United States. For me, living in the desert developed a deep and enduring bond between myself and the physical environment. The simplest way to explain this is to say that I created a spiritual connection with the earth while living in the desert.
After the Great Recession hit in 2007, although I could continue to make a living in the DC market, I started feeling as though my life path needed to take me back to the Desert Southwest. My answer to the “Should I Stay or Should I Go” question was to stay in DC. During August 2012, however, I answered “Should I Go” with a clear “yes!” and I chose to relocate to Las Vegas, Nevada.
So, what happened in the first 90 days after I established myself in Las Vegas?
First, let me admit honestly how I accepted that staying where I lived in the Washington, DC area was not be the best thing for my life and our my career. So, my choice to say “yes!” to the “Should I Go” question was based on a true acceptance that it was time to move on somewhere else from the Washington, DC area.
That said, believe me when I explain how it is not easy to pack up and move 2,500 miles across the country. This relocation quickly felt like another of those famous Life Changing Experiences that we all have from time to time.
Las Vegas is internationally famous for being a place where you can escape for fun and relaxation. That is as true today as it has been since 1906 when the railroad came to Las Vegas and enabled casinos and hotels to exist here as viable businesses.
But, living in Las Vegas permanently as a local is a whole different experience compared to visiting Las Vegas for just a few days of fun and relaxation as a visitor. From experience, I would suggest that if you choose to relocate to Las Vegas as I did, choose also like I did to relocate here during any month when the temperatures are at their highest. Why? If you relocate to Las Vegas when the weather is cool, doing so will create a very false sense of reality for you regarding how punishing the physical environment can be here in the Mojave Desert.
Life as a local in Las Vegas has many advantages that cannot be matched or exceeded anywhere else in the United States. Among these advantages are a highly favorable tax environment, a clear and consistent welcoming and encouragement by municipal and state governments towards entrepreneurs, low-cost entertainment of the highest quality, low-cost dining out opportunities of the highest quality, and, overall genuine friendliness of the locals.
Infamously, many people move to Las Vegas and then leave within about 30 days. The reasons for their exodus are numerous and personal. You can find part of an answer why many never make it past 30 days here if you consider some of the disadvantages (excluding the famous daily 90+ temperatures during many months of every year) of life as a local in Las Vegas.
There can be dangerous, life-threatening flash flooding caused by rare thunderstorms. On the plus side, there are not going to tornadoes or hurricanes here, however, like elsewhere in the United States.
Throughout the Las Vegas Valley there persists the old-fashioned 1960s emphasis upon single passenger vehicles. This unavoidable reality directly results in routine traffic congestion and extraordinarily inconvenient and frustrating parking. Alternatives to this outmoded single passenger vehicle way of transportation are beginning to establish a foothold here in Las Vegas. Pun intended.
Another disadvantage is that some locals choose to play by their own rules of public behavior that exist outside the typical bounds of polite society. I cannot go into detail about this without sharing anecdotes that easily would earn an “R” rating.
Meanwhile, I am happy that I quickly became involved on the board of directors of the Las Vegas chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). I am a serious advocate for everyone who is in the communications fields to join your local IABC chapter and get as actively involved as you possibly can. IABC is a fantastic networking opportunity for communications people. Everyone I have met within IABC Las Vegas have been genuine and welcoming towards me.
In conclusion, only you can answer your own “Should I Stay or Should I Go” question. If you are like me, you may discover after weighing all the factors that choosing to stay where you are is not the best for your career. But, know that choosing to go is very difficult. You should expect emotional and financial challenges.
But, if you are like me, you may discover that augmenting your personal brand requires you to move your life and your career to some other place than where you are right now. I’m convinced that one’s personal brand may need such a reboot or restart from time to time. I urge you to face this kind of life change bravely and with determination all the while knowing that there will be experiences in this journey that are not fun. I’m confident that you, like me, will emerge at the new location a stronger person than you were before your move.
Copyright © 2012, Woody Goulart. All Rights Reserved.