The Advantages of Working in Rural Areas

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From the Greatest Generation to Generation X, the 20th century saw an unprecedented rise in urbanization. Cities boomed as the cultural hubs of the nation, while rural communities and suburbs shrank to the size of ghost towns and empty lots. To be fair, there were too many reasons to leave. Economic instability rose rural unemployment rates, new technologies provided urban sectors with new jobs, and ultimately, migration encouraged more migration.

Well, why would you want to move to a rural area now? This trend simply couldn’t last. Today, cities are more overpopulated than ever before. These dense communities are facing severe job shortages and growing crime rates, while previous attractions like access to modern technology are more evenly distributed. Today, there are many incentives to migrate to rural areas, and Millennials are taking note. The turn of the 21st century brought with it a new take on rural lifestyles, and you may want to consider it yourself.

The Advent of Remote Work

People used to move to a city to find a good, stable job. It wasn’t uncommon to uproot your whole life just to be closer to work, despite your priorities you had to do it to survive. Building your whole life around your 9 – 5 job seems dreary today, after all, life is so much more than that, and it seems the new generation of workers think so, too. Many modern jobs don’t require you to be in a traditional office setting to be productive, some even encourage you to work from home to cut costs.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 16% of employees work partially in a remote setting. In fact, remote working has increased by 115% from 2005 to 2015.

A new culture of remote work is developing that allows you to work from anywhere in the world. You can now work remotely in rural areas while enjoying the same employment benefits you expect from a job in a big city. Remote work gives you the freedom to set your own schedule and work at your own pace, a perfect combination when applied to a more relaxed rural lifestyle. Fast-paced urban life gets tiring pretty quickly, and never really sits well with most people.

Skilled Workers Wanted

Most academic hubs are located in urban or suburban areas. If you’re a student with potential living in a small town, you’ll likely travel there to complete your education and earn your qualifications. Many of these students never end up returning as professionals, and students born and raised in urban environments usually don’t seek out alternative communities. This creates a shortage of skilled labor in rural areas as the cream of the crop migrates out of the community. This makes average applicants seem more desirable to potential employers.

You can expect to find less competition and more vacancies in skilled labor. This relaxed climate also allows ambitious professionals to move up in their respective fields with a little less pressure than would be expected in a metropolitan area. Tech jobs in rural areas are particularly in demand because tech professionals usually stick to industrial centers. As more organizations like small businesses and office buildings adopt modern technologies in their rural establishments, there will be an ever-increasing demand for skilled technicians and I.T. professionals.

Flexible Jobs and Autonomy

Rural jobs are simply, on average, more laid-back than their urban counterparts. Organizations based in these areas are usually smaller and face less local competition, this breeds a different work ethic and culture. Given their smaller structure, you can also expect fewer levels of separation between you and your management. If you need to take a personal day off, you can often talk directly to your boss. In optimum conditions this allows employees to work on a more flexible schedule and with a greater sense of autonomy.

Reduced management pressures give you a little more freedom to work at your own pace. Smaller organizations also provide a sense of support and community you may not see in other working environments. In an urban setting, managers deal with many employees and customers in a single day, so it’s difficult to stand out from the crowd. There isn’t much room to form personal and mutually beneficial professional connections. If you want to become a valued, human asset to a company you may have better luck at a rural establishment. Contrary to popular belief, a rural job may be a great opportunity for someone seeking to gain experience and advance their career.

Save Money and Time

Yes, the jobs do sound great so far. There is a catch though, the salaries take a hit. According to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, a rural income is about 4% less than an urban income. This may seem a little confusing when the same data indicates that poverty rates are actually lower in rural areas. In short, this discrepancy is because its cheaper to live in a rural community. From restaurants and groceries to entertainment and transportation, there’s virtually no part of rural life that isn’t cheaper. All these little expenses add up over time, eventually, you’ll see a marked difference in how far you can stretch your income. Rural rent alone can save you thousands a year.

Another aspect of rural life not to be taken lightly is the time you save in your everyday operations. The traffic is either much lighter or nonexistent while the overall time pressures that exist in city life are wholly absent. You get more time to spend on relaxed, leisurely activities like strolls or outdoor exploration. The hustle associated with city life can often foster unpleasant feelings in some people like stress, anxiety, or put a general strain on your mental wellbeing. There are so many reasons why people are choosing rural life, not the least of which is they genuinely enjoy it.

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