A Money Coach in Canada

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I remember in my right-wing days smugly stating that if there wasn’t work where a person lived, they should just move to where the jobs were. Just like that. I was young, and had little concept of community, extended family, roots. “Just pick up, and move,” I thought.

This question of moving for work may become increasingly relevant to all of us. As jobs are eliminated and new ones created in new locales, Canadians may need to contemplate uprooting for the sake of a job.

I’m doing it. I’m moving from Vancouver to Yellowknife. The new job is exciting and personally relevant to me, but it’s hard leaving 20 years of experiences and networks, close friendships and my gastown neighbourhood (not to mention my little loft itself!).

So readers: here’s a question for you: Under what circumstances would you consider a move, for a job? Would you ever do it? Have you done it? Regrets or glad you did so?

About the Author


Imagine if Canadians were known for being all over their money. Engaged. Proactive. Getting out of debt. Savvy. Saving. Generous. Nancy wants to help. Nancy started her own journey with money over 15 years ago, and formed her company “Your Money by Design” in 2004 to help others along the same path. It’s not the usual financial advising/investment stuff. It’s about taking control of day-to-day finances –managing monthly cashflow effectively, spending appropriately, getting out of debt, saving. If you're ready to take control over your finances, pop by her business site, YourMoneybyDesign.com

15 Comments

  1. We moved about 4 years ago because my wife had a new job opportunity. It also meant I had to give up my job and start completely fresh somewhere new. It also meant moving away from both of our families. Instead of being 30 minutes away, it’s more like 3-4 hours of a drive.

    Difficult decision? You bet. But it was what seemed like the best thing for her career, and the pros outweighed the cons. Obviously, it’s harder only being able to see your family around holidays or a few times a year, but the move has been worth every minute of it. My wife has spent the past four years building up a successful career, and I happened to find a line of work within six months of the move that I could never have imagined even possible.

    It wasn’t easy, and it did take some time building new connections, making new friends, and living in a whole new setting, but in the end it worked out great.

    Jeremy’s last blog post..Take a Free Economics Course From Yale on Financial Markets by Robert Shiller

    [Reply]

    Feb 19, 2009
  2. I moved from Toronto to Kincardine, ON (pop. 5k) to take a job with a former client. At the time I wondered if it was the beginning of the world’s slowest move to Vancouver, something I’d been thinking of doing for 25 years. And it turned out it was, as I moved to the Metro Vancouver area a year later. Not sure how many more ‘big moves’ I have in me – I guess we’ll find out.

    Not everyone has the same spirit of adventure. I remember when I was leaving Kincardine to move to a place where I knew a grand total of three people in the entire province, with some savings but no job, that people kept telling me I was brave and I kept scoffing at them. In retrospect I realize they were right. 🙂 To brave women everywhere, I say! (What do you mean, 10AM is too early for a drink?)

    Ruth Seeley’s last blog post..Crimes against Twitter: how mainstream media and marketers are messing up

    [Reply]

    Feb 19, 2009
  3. Have, would, will.
    I’ve moved for school, moved for work, and I’m sure it will happen again even though I’ve now got roots in Vancouver. While it was hard to leave the friends and family it was a necessary step in coming into my own.

    Now that I know I can reasonably support myself and my family regardless of where I am I would really only consider moving if the conditions were right for the lifestyle I (we) want. Meaning I wouldn’t go for a temporary job, unless the pay or the future opportuities it brought were fantastic. It have to be a long-term opportunity in a community that provided opportunities for my family – present and future, and a vibrant arts and culture scene, or the opportunity to be involved in building one.

    You’ll find all that stuff in Yellowknife, as you will in lots of northern communities. Something about the cold long winters makes people creative, if a bit crazy.

    Michael B’s last blog post..Corroding our Community from Within

    [Reply]

    Feb 19, 2009
  4. I would (and have in the past) move “for a job” to a location I wanted to go to anyway. I have a suspicion that this is what you’re doing now, too. 🙂

    Other than that I think I would only move for a really dreamy job.

    And then there’s the complication of being a family of two (or more, obviously): If either I or Mrs. K see a dream job in farawaytowncityprovincestateland, that one job would have to be lucrative enough for both of us to live on, or the other one of us would have to find at least an OK job at that location.

    Jan Karlsbjerg’s last blog post..Think Ahead

    [Reply]

    Feb 19, 2009
  5. Well, lots of people move for their job. Talk to anyone in the military; military postings take you all over the place. It’s not easy, but it can be interesting (although I’m a Navy brat, we didn’t actually move that much).

    As for us personally, both Gwen & I uprooted from NS. There’s quite a tradition of “going down the road” for Maritimers. Look at all the Newfoundlanders in Alberta!

    Obviously it’s not for everyone but I think the idea of staying in one location for “your whole life” (or however long) is becoming less and less practical. Look at the communities that are being devastated financially by the forestry collapse, the pending automotive collapse, etc. Should those communities be propped up, or should people expect to stay there? Or should people be open to the idea that they might have to move somewhere to participate in some other industry? I suspect I’ve over-simplifying things, but you get the gist 🙂

    A>

    Anthony Floyd’s last blog post..Have Your People Call My People

    [Reply]

    Feb 19, 2009
  6. Looby

    Yup- I moved from the UK to Vancouver for my partner’s job.
    I’d never considered living here before, but I was quite open to the idea of living somewhere new.
    It was (and is) really hard to leave family and friends- especially as it’s not a quick and easy trip for a short visit.
    I have no regrets, however, I’m not sure I’d be as easily convinced to do it again, I’m certainly not going looking for opportunities in other places. Give me another couple of years though and I might change my tune!

    [Reply]

    Feb 19, 2009
  7. angela

    Yes I moved from UK to Ontario for my partners new job.
    It turned out well for him – not so well for me. I left a job I loved in the UK and have struggled to find something as nice here. Plus I did expect all the prejudice against immigrants here with respect to non-Canadian qualifications/lack of Canadian experience – seems very narrow minded to me.
    I’m currently back at school retraining – again something I didn’t anticipate doing. I’ll probably encounter ageism by the time I qualify but heck the qualification is recognised in the UK so I can always go back there! And you don’t come up against the lack of experience crap you do here.
    Would I move again? Probably. But if I were to move with a partner, I would definitely check out what opportunities there were for them. Also, I would have visited Ontario first .. I’m non too impressed with the landscape here – malls and roads mainly. Plus the small city I live in is culturally quite poor compared to what I left in the UK. I think people are too focused on working here and making money and shopping and they don’t have a lot of time left over to enjoy life without shopping – certainly in the part of Ontario I live in. But then it’s constantly being paved over anyhow (sorry to sound so jaundiced here – just can’t believe how ugly the city I live in is – and has become more so the last 7 years I’ve lived here – more and more big box stores being built).
    I lived in a very nice rural green area in the UK. So I guess it partly depends on where you come from (in terms of conditions your living in and employment) as to how well you settle into a new place.
    I’ve moved in the past too. Lived and worked in Sweden for a while – that was beautiful.

    [Reply]

    Feb 20, 2009
  8. angela

    whoops – in the third sentence What I meant to say was I did not expect all the prejudice against immigrants

    [Reply]

    Feb 20, 2009
  9. Lior

    It depends on many factors: the location, the job itself, if there’s any relocation assistance, the amount of money. But there are some places I wouldn’t move if they are very remote or like totally isolated from the real world. Vacation maybe but not a permanent move.

    [Reply]

    Feb 20, 2009
  10. Hey Nancy,
    What a good question, and I think I agree with the people above. It would depend on where, what kind of job, and of course money. There are only a few cities that I would want/can live in and keep doing what I do for a living and most of those cities do appeal to me (big cities) so I guess the answer would be yes!

    Ron’s last blog post..I am going to use Google docs to track my spending

    [Reply]

    Feb 20, 2009
  11. Janice

    I moved from Alberta to Texas for a job 15 yrs ago. Within the next two weeks I am moving from Texas back to Alberta. Although jobs are plenty in Texas for the unappreciated nurses I am moving back for family support and hopefully a new job closer to home. It has been alot tougher than I thought it would be to leave so many years of memories behind. The logistics of moving over 1600 miles with 15 yrs of personal possessions and a 5 yr old would be more than I could handle if it wasn’t for the fact that I know I will enjoying Springtime in Alberta for the first time in a long time.
    As a side note it seems a lot of immigration is a result of economic ventures and it will be interesting to see how this economic time will change the sociological make up of this country.

    [Reply]

    Feb 20, 2009
  12. I moved for a job, or I guess more properly an education, from Toronto to London, ON for my PhD. Even though it’s just down the road from my family and I get back at least once a month, it’s still kind of hard (though I like London plenty as a city). Soon, I will do the opposite: I have an offer to continue here after I finish my degree, but I’ve been told that I want to return to Toronto, where job prospects are… questionable.

    [Reply]

    Feb 24, 2009
  13. nancy (aka moneycoach)

    @Jeremy – I hate to admit it, but even in this day and age, I find it notable that a man uprooted for his wife’s career. Props. And glad it’s worked out.
    @Ruth – To brave women! agreed!
    @Michael – I’m glad you found you could create the lifestyle you wanted in Vancouver. I did, but only just. It’s a hard city to get ahead in for a lot of folks.
    @Anthony – I’ve never met a maritimer I didn’t like. There are lots of Newfoundlanders in particular up here and they add a lot of warmth and liveliness.
    @Looby – My first real friends in Vancouver were from the UK. They moved back, to my sorrow. When I visited them, my first time to England, I cried because I was so struck by the beauty (Chichester and Cambridge respectively) because I couldn’t imagine they’d ever move back to Canada again when they lived in such gorgeous cities.
    @Angela – oh, I can just imagine. (and don’t read my note to Looby!) Honestly … I hope you get to move somewhere really lovely next. Some cdn cities are just blech and I suspect you’re in one of them. There are lots of gorgeous ones though, esp. BC, and I think a lot of the maritimes too. Oh, and Quebec, for sure.
    @Lior – just remember, the internet breaks a lot of the isolation (assuming there’s connectivity. If there’s not, nothing would convince me to move)
    @Ron – I’m happy to be here for a while, but I know about myself: I’m a city woman, for sure (hmmm. except the gulf islands, I think I could handle)
    @Janice – and as I said on Facebook, you can count on me to start enticing you further north 🙂
    @Potato – keep us posted!

    [Reply]

    Feb 24, 2009
  14. Kristi

    Hey, Nancy – so glad you’re enjoying Yellowknife – and its amazing people.

    I did move – from the NWT to Vancouver. Oh, it was hard….really hard. New city, new job, new traffic to deal with, new (much smaller) digs that I didn’t own, new everything.

    Now, after 10 plus years, I believe it’s the smartest move I ever made. I loved the North – and think anyone who has a chance to live “up here” should grab it. But my move, as hard as it was (and it took time, lots of time, to adjust) has brought so much new into my life – many, many “pluses”, a few minuses but most of all “wow, that’s interesting – I never expected or even dreampt that” moments – I hope you will say the same looking back on your years in Yellowknife. Be happy.

    [Reply]

    Feb 26, 2009

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