According to the New York Times, over 80% of people live within a couple of hours from their parents, their birthplace.
This statistic is mind-boggling to me. In the span of six years, my family lived in all four U.S. continental time zones. My eldest son went to Pre-K, Kindergarten and First Grade in three states. As toddlers, my sons accumulated more airline flights than 50% of Americans will take in their entire lives.
When my family finally settled in Georgia, we were 800-miles from my parents and in-laws. We chose this route as it was best for my career. Now, I realize that this lifestyle is the exception, not the rule. People want to live near their family, the friends they grew up with, in the towns that they know.
At my core, family is everything. Even though we are geographically separated, my parents and their grandkids have great relationships.
My professional mobility stems from the following logic: what is the likelihood that someone can move up into a senior role within a single company or region? Small. Positions rarely open at an opportune time, and oftentimes, the role will be filled with someone else. However, look at the possibilities that open when not limited to a specific region. Want a role as an Operations VP? How many of them are in Macon, GA? Few. How many VP roles are open nationwide? Hundreds.
The reason people rise through the corporate ranks is they are willing to do what others are not. Mobility is a huge factor. In the past few months, I watched five acquaintances ascend to senior leadership roles within companies. All of them relocated for the opportunity.
I would encourage anyone considering a move to diligently weigh the pros and cons of relocation carefully. Do not assume it is the status quo as I did. Also, do not immediately shut the idea of a move down. The right opportunity may require a few moving boxes.
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