To move or not to move?
So my sales territory is Eastern North America…anything East of Winnipeg in Canada and anything East of the Mississippi in the US falls into my list. What this means to someone living in Vancouver BC is waking up every day at 4:30 AM to be at work for 9 AM Eastern. It also means a face to face meeting with any given customer requires a certain amount of planning and travel; most of my business is conducted over the telephone.
I’ve been in sales a long time and I know that generally it’s important to get some face time with a prospective customer. So I’m getting a bit of pressure at work to consider moving to the northeast US. There are some obvious benefits to this; if I’m centrally located I am within a day’s drive of the majority of the people I deal with in the US, and a short commuter flight to Toronto, Montreal, Florida etc. Plus it would be a grand adventure. Being recently single and with my band ending soon there isn’t much keeping me here right now. And, I quite like the northeastern US. I’ve spent time in Boston, Philadelphia, NewJersey and others and I like all those cities.
If I were to go it would be great to move to Manhattan. But that brings with it a whole other set of complications, the main one being cost of living. I checked…a 400 sq ft closet in Manhattan rents for over $1000 a month. US. Plus I would imagine it’s not that easy to get anywhere during the business day from NYC unless you take the train. Which means the train has to go to where you’re going. So then my next choice is Philadelphia. Philly is a really nice city, great architecture, a short drive to NYC or Boston or New Jersey, plus it is a center of industry so some of the people I deal with or would like to are there or nearby. I do like Boston as well, but it’s not as central. Boston does have pretty girls tho…
With any move to a new city a couple of issues pop up. First off, I don’t know the cities that well. So am I moving into a good area or junkie ville? Do I have to dodge gang bangers and bullets to get to work or am I stuck in yuppieville? Is there good eats nearby? Secondly the cost factor. I have a pretty cheap apartment right now, and I like that. Plus being in Canada things such as health care are cheap and paid for. If I was a Canadian living the US working for a Canadian company I would pay Canadian tax levels but not recieving the benefits. Which means my cost of living relative to what I make increases substantially. So that would have to be taken care of. Third, I don’t have a university degree, so just getting there would require some effort. The company would have to do some hoop jumping to get me a work visa to get me there. That or I’d have to marry an American. Getting a green card is just not an easy process.
Then there’s the risk factor. So all this stuff happens, I get there, and something happens to the company…what then? Not that there’s much danger of it, but any number of unplanned emergencies could come up. Now I’m stuck in an American city with no way to legally get a job there, and I have to move again. Which means all those costs coming up. But with no income to cover it. That would be a lot of trouble.
I’ve lived in Vancouver since 1993. I have pretty strong roots here, and it is home. I have some good friends and know where to go for the right food, or the best golf course, or whatever. So moving to a new city does have some effects personally as well as socially. At the end of the day it’s very freeing to start over in a new place, but it’s also a big upheaval emotionally. It both excites and frightens me. Fear of the unknown is a major factor in many decisions. But so is the ability for a fresh start. Sigh.
All I know is that there is an opportunity window right now and I need to make a decision soon. I’ve always said that life begins when you jump off the cliff. The flip side is that it ends when you hit the bottom.