Location! Location! Job Location!
Truly, the matter of job location can be a difficult subject to broach as a recruitment consultant. A huge part of me screams to write an extremely persuasive article urging you to broaden your horizons and keep an open mind to jobs anywhere in the UK, or even abroad. The opportunities this opens up to you are tenfold to those restricted by job location.
Whenever a new Super Groom signs up looking for work on a professional training and competition yard I get excited, mentally listing all the jobs I could contact them about, only to groan aloud when I see ‘Location: Cornwall’. I mean seriously guys, I’m from Devon I know how beautiful it is down there but really, how many 4* Eventers or Grand Prix Dressage riders do you know based in Cornwall? It’s a million miles from anywhere and will cost them more than your wage a week just in fuel to go anywhere!
So, how important is it that your next job is in the ‘right’ location? Is it worth being flexible for that DREAM job? We take a look at when you should be flexible and when you should hold out for your ideal.
When to select “Anywhere” in the job location box!
- Without any location limitations, you are free to choose a job based on whether it really fits your ideal in terms of work content instead. Which, as this is where you will be spending the majority of your time, is surely a fairly important factor!
- You will have so many more options to choose from and are far more likely to find that ultimate DREAM JOB!
- We are slowly seeing an increase in jobs advertised as 5/5.5 days per week. This makes travelling home for your days off an easily feasible option if you are within 1-2 hours away. It’s also worth bearing in mind that, if you have a strong CV some employers are open to negotiation on days per week. It can be well worth giving a call to check!
- Moving to a new area provides the chance for a fresh start. Not just a new team to work with, but new venues to visit and new people to meet from the wider equine community this exposes you to. There will be a new area to go hacking and new places to explore on your days off.
- If you are super open minded, working as a groom provides fantastic opportunities to work anywhere in the world. This can be a fantastic opportunity to not just gain a greater knowledge in the equestrian field through the alternative stable management techniques you will come across but also a chance to grow as a person. Travel really opens your eyes to what the world has to offer, you learn about other cultures, meet so many fantastic people and will, I can guarantee, return a more independent, well-rounded person.
When to limit your job location choices!
Essentially when NOT to compromise on your desired location is when you KNOW for sure, for whatever reason that this will not work and you will end up leaving in 2 minutes messing your new employer around and damaging your CV in the process. One of the top things recruiters and employers look for in a groom is job longevity. Here are a few of the situations when sticking to your guns is well worthwhile.
- If you are young, a little insecure and looking for your first full-time job. Whether it’s live-in or live-out if you don’t yet feel ready to move away from that support network of family and friends, listen to your gut and don’t!
- A close family member is ill and relies on you or if you feel it is your duty to be there to support them in the likely event of an emergency. Some could argue against putting your life on hold for others but if it is someone important to you or moving away would simply cause you to worry, then it is not the right for you.
- You have children settled in a school locally. If you have older children preparing to take exams or younger children and an established network of childcare in that area the hassle and upheaval of moving can be simply not worth the gains the new job might bring.
- It will cause relationship strife. Be honest with yourself and your partner over whether a long distance relationship is something you can make work. If your partner plans to relocate with you be sure it is something they really want to do, and it’s to an area they can realistically find work they will enjoy. If a move you instigated becomes an issue in your relationship it can be easy to displace this angst into resentment of the job that caused it.
- If you have the time, patience and really LOVE the area you are aiming for then, by all means, wait it out. Particularly older grooms with a lifetime of moving around who have been there, seen it, done it and got 10 T-Shirts to prove it. These grooms will be strong contenders for any job that does come up and have the wisdom to know what they want and what will work long term for them.
Top considerations when choosing a new location of your job search
Sometimes the lure of landing your dream job can be so great it overshadows important considerations.
- How realistic is it that you will find the job you’re looking for close to home? If you can’t, or you’re unwilling to compromise on the location you may need to compromise on your ideal job.
- Do you have your own transport? If not, how soon can you get your own transport? By the nature of the environment, many equine jobs are fairly remote so you need to consider basic necessities outside of your working day – how will you get to the local shops? You don’t want to be reliant on colleagues giving you lifts each time you need a pint of milk! Being able to get about by yourself, even if simply by moped, can be a make or break factor when considering a job in a new location.
- If you choose a job A LONG way from your family and friends, it may be that trips back home will require holiday leave. How realistic is that you could go months without spending time with your loved ones?
- How realistic is it that you can make a 3+ hour journey to visit family and friends once a month or so? How expensive will that be? How exhausting will that travelling be, even if only once a month?
You really need to think carefully about the reality of moving to an entirely new location and try to pre-empt any possible deal-breakers before you accept a job offer and start the job. Opening your job search to “Anywhere” will certainly open up more career options, but this is counterproductive if you end up leaving jobs after a few months to return to familiar territory and damage your employability by appearing to be a “job hopper”!
Handy ways our website can help
- First things first ensure your profile is set up to clearly state whether you are looking for work ‘Anywhere’ with no preference (in which case you should only select “Anywhere”) or in a specific county or counties (in which case DO NOT select “Anywhere” at all)
- Another option is to select “Anywhere” and a specific county which would indicate you would prefer that county but would consider other options.
- It is a good idea to select neighbouring counties as well. Depending on your location, jobs in neighbouring counties can sometimes be closer to you than a job on the other side of your home county.
- Once you have your profile completely set up, ensure you have your settings changed to ‘visible’ so you appear to all employers in relevant search results on The Grooms List.
- Finally, if you haven’t already, do set up ‘Job Alerts’ so you receive emails alerting you when suitable jobs are added to The Grooms List. You can set up multiple job alerts for various criteria. This means you will be the first to know and can be first at the door with your application – don’t miss out! Add your Job Alerts here.
It can also be well worthwhile doing a little research into which areas of the country are most popular for your chosen discipline/sector. For example, if hunting is your thing look at the popular “hunt countries”. Counties with a bigger, wealthier hunt following will have more hunting job opportunities than other areas. From there you can decide how likely you are to find work in the area you had in mind and if not research the other areas to see which you could see yourself settling in.
Ultimately only you can make the decision on how important job location is but I will leave you with a final poignant thought…