Should You Take a Job With a Long Commute?

You’ve finally been offered a job.  It’s a good fit for your skills and it seems that it would provide some great opportunities.  The only problem is that it would involve a long commute.  What do you do?  Should you just accept the position and try to make the best of it?  Or should you turn it down and focus on finding a job that’s closer to your home?  Before you make any decisions, ask yourself the following questions:

Exactly how long will it take out of your day?  You know that it’s long, but do you know how long it is?  Try a practice run of the commute so that you have a good idea of exactly how much time you will be spending on the road.  If possible, try it out during the same hours that you would be traveling to work since traffic volume can make a big difference.

How much will it cost?  Don’t forget that there is a cost associated with any commute, whether it be for bus tickets, subway tokens, or gas.  Make sure that you factor these costs into your budget, because before long it can add up to a lot of money!

Is there any chance of you changing locations or moving your house?  How long would you actually be doing this commute?  Once you get settled into the job, would you consider moving so that you would live a little closer to work?  Is there any chance that you could ever be working from a different location?  Whether the commute will be a short-term inconvenience or something that you will have to endure indefinitely could make a huge difference in your decision.

What is the commute like?  Not all commutes are created equal.  Some commutes are stressful and uncomfortable, while others are quite relaxing.  Depending on if you are fighting rush hour traffic or sitting on an air conditioned bus, your commute could be a pleasant time of day or it could raise your blood pressure to an unhealthy level.  The way that you feel after your commute can make a big difference in your quality of life.

All of these issues can really be summed up into one key question:  Can you live with it?.  Keep in mind that you will have to be commuting every day.  Don’t underestimate the impact that a commute can have on you.  A commute that is any longer than an hour each way can be exhausting, frustrating, and it can take a big chunk out of your day.  It is even worse during the winter months when it takes longer and can even be dangerous.  However, depending on your situation, you may feel the need to make some sacrifices in order to further your career.  What works for one person may be unmanageable for another; the key is to be honest with yourself and to make a decision with your eyes open.

(Written by: Karen Bivand, Photo from: Naypong/


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