Accessability Links

When does travel affect our chances of getting a job?

Posted by
17 Feb 2014

Let's face it - when looking for a new role, there are certain aspects that are more important than others, and this will differ from person to person. A theme which seems to affect most people is length of commute.

For some people starting off in their career, budget restraints will play a big part of their ability to find a job. Often they will have to find a role close to home so they can save on the cost of living, increasingly by remaining with parents in the family home.

These candidates then find themselves in a vicious circle; they are desperate to get a job but it has to be within a cost effective distance and have good transport links, which can seem near impossible at times. People in this situation cannot afford to buy a car to travel further until they have worked for a few months to save, but without that job they have no money to save to buy a car!

Luckily the job market is better than a few years ago so the opportunity to move jobs is better than it was, but people will still have to endure long days and a feeling of frustration until they secure a new role.

Someone who has children may decide that they want to move jobs to be closer to home and enjoy more quality family time than sitting in traffic on the A19. People at the prime of their career who tend to have better salaries will be able to sacrifice on location and time at home to progress up the career ladder, but at what cost to their lifestyle?

There are certain places in the North East which are remote and have bad public transport links, which cause endless problems for jobseekers. As a driver, I often find it hard to comprehend just how long it can take to get from a candidate's house to a prospective place of work on public transport. When I look at a map as a driver, it's 20 minutes down the road - but can be as many as three buses away and take over an hour via public transport.

The train and metro seem to be the most preferred transport method as they are usually reliable and fairly comfortable, but it tends to be more expensive. Buses are dependant on a person's location and what service is available to them, which is a postcode lottery.

Drivers have different concerns; if a person drives but the traffic congestion is particularly bad, a 20 minute journey can take up to an hour. People may have to make the decision to set off for work a lot earlier than required so they can beat the traffic and potentially arrive at work up to an hour before they need to start.

Some aspects of travel can be eased by employers with increased flexibility; flexitime can have a positive effect on a staff force as they can avoid the peak hours, have a more comfortable or less stressful journey and arrive in a better mood to start working. The public sector often adopts flexitime which can be very appealing for prospective candidates. Private sector businesses often allow their staff to leave early on a Friday to reward them for their hard work and aviod often even busier routes on a Friday evening.

Travel is a constant worry as we all seek the cheapest and most convenient way to commute. The good news is that as the job market picks up, it will become more candidate focused and individuals will have more choice on where they choose to work, not where they have to work.

In answer to my origional question, travel will always affect our chances of finding a job, but it depends on how important a work life balance is to us as individuals and what we are happy to sacrifice.

How does your commute currently affect your working hours, and would a reduced distance to work encourage you to move roles? Please leave your thoughts and experiences below.

Tagged In: Employment, Events, Finance
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