How do you choose a job when you could work anywhere, but don’t know anywhere?

black and green desk globe
Photo by Artem Bali on

Graduates and final year students have a dilemma to face, where do you want to work after Uni?

  1. Going back home is an option if the jobs you are interested in exist there. If they don’t and you really want to be near family you have to be realistic about what is available in the area.
  2. Manchester is a big city so staying here would give you access to many (but not all) jobs.
  3. And there’s the rest of the world option…. that’s a pretty big choice right there.

So how do you choose?

What’s important to you?

  • Friends & relationships
  • Family
  • The commute time
  • The area you live in and access to facilities whether that’s countryside or city life.
  • The job

Many graduates are torn between the familiar and just going for what they want to do.  It’s a hard choice there are financial & emotional barriers and you must decide how you prioritise.

You may want to stay in Manchester because your friends are here, but eventually some will move away, they will get jobs, they may start families. It will never be as it was when you were a student, life just moves on.  So are you the one that stays behind or the one that is first to move on?

Relationships are tricky, it’s almost easier if one of you has a good job and the other one has to decide whether to stay or move away. What do you do when you are both looking for jobs and could be anywhere, it’s not easy. You both need to look at the jobs you want and decide if there is a location you would both be happy with, then it’s a matter of applying and hoping you both get jobs in the same area. If not, what will you compromise on?

Going back home for a while may seem a good option but it really depends where that is and what there is on offer in the job market.  It can be good financially though if your family will support you while you are looking for work or in your first job.  For some though it can be a loss of independence that is difficult to deal with.

Once you have ruled relationships and family in or out there are some objective decisions you need to make.

The dreaded commute. You thought getting the bus from Uni to Fallowfield at rush hour was a pain? Well….

First pick your transport mode.  Do you want  a job where you can walk, cycle, bus, tram, train or drive.  This will determine your commute time and the cost!

Many people commute an hour or more each way every day, sometimes they will cover long distances via car or train, but it can take an hour to go 5 miles on a bus!  It can be helpful to use journey planners to work out how far out of a city you can live and commute in in a time limit.  There is also the cost factor, costs differ dramatically around the UK for what may seem like a very similar service. If as a student you use buses up and down Oxford Road that is about as cheap as it gets, ask students who live in North Manchester, it’s more expensive and less regular.

What’s important to you, town, country, price?  We all have different priorities, I want access to nice bars, shops, restaurants an easy / cheap commute & access to a gym. I don’t necessarily want to live in the city centre but I certainly don’t want to be in the countryside. My wishlist is a pretty popular one and therefore where I live is pretty expensive, but my commute is cheap and I don’t need to travel to get the facilities want. It’s a trade off.

and finally the job…. You’d think this would be first on the list, but for many people the other decisions have much more of an impact in determining which jobs you can do. Jobs are not distributed evenly across the country, it sounds like a blindingly obvious statement but it’s not something everyone considers.

Even if a company has offices across the country – the function you are interested in may only be based in selected locations, so if geography is important to you check before you apply.

Businesses small and large are often not located in city centres, they may be in business parks, suburbs or small towns that you have never heard of.  Just because you don’t know where it is – don’t rule it out.  Visit the area, if you dont love it as somewhere to live, how far is it to somewhere you would consider?

If you want to work overseas, you need to consider language, cultural differences and don’t forget visas! Check your eligibility to work, different countries have different rules. Check embassy websites.







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