On the Road to Career Bliss: Navigating Commute Choices for Job Seekers

by Guest Author, Miles Oliver

There are many considerations that most job seekers think about when selecting a new job. In addition to the benefits and a friendly culture, many also consider how long it will take to get to and from work. Many candidates may see a long commute and automatically say no. But what if the job is too good to pass up? It’s important to think past the fact that you’ll be on the road for so long and consider the benefits of an extended commute. Weigh the pros and cons and make the best decisions for yourself, your family, and your career.

Before you accept or reject a job based on the commute, consider these pros, cons, and alternative arrangements that can lead to an easier decision.

The Pros Of Commuting

Knowing that you’ll have to drive miles to and from work isn’t the greatest feeling, and there are certain disadvantages and concerns of which to be aware. However, longer commutes do have their benefits. So, let’s start with the good news.

The first perk is that driving can get you to a job that’s too good to ignore. This new job might have good pay and the path to advancement you seek. It may also be in a city with more perks, like increased networking opportunities, where you can find your next big opportunity.

Opting to allow a longer commute can also benefit your personal life. The pros include the opportunity to live wherever you want instead of relocating next to the office. Plus, if you need to move further for your family, you can, and you’ll already be used to the long commute.

Mental Health And Structure

There are also some mental benefits to your longer drive. This commute will give you time to think and relax between when you’re rushing to get out of the house and when you clock in for your shift. Another reason that the commute is good for your health is because it gives you a sense of structure. You know you need to wake up and get in the car at a certain time so you’re not rushing around or waking up later than you should.

Finally, your commute creates bookends for your day at work. When you get in the car in the morning, you can start to get in the right mental mindset for when you walk in the office doors. Then, the car ride home allows you to relax and destress from the day.

Considerations And Dangers Of Long Commutes

While there are perks to a commute, there are also cons. If you choose to have a longer commute, you need to find a way to mitigate the downsides so you don’t risk your physical and mental health.

Long back-and-forth commutes require you to sit for extended periods. If you sit for too long, the chances of obesity and poor health increase since moving your muscles helps to digest the fats and sugars in your body. Plus, sitting for too long can cause issues with your back. There are even studies that show that sitting too long can increase the chance of certain types of cancer.

If you have a long commute, make time in the mornings or during breaks at work to get up and move around. You’ll get some exercise and fight off some of the possible health issues.

You must also be aware of the dangers on the road, especially if you commute at night. If you have a 3rd shift job or drive very early in the morning or late at night, you must be cautious. Even with streetlights, there’s limited visibility, and your vision can worsen as you age. It’s best to wear your glasses or contacts and use high-beam lights when there’s no incoming traffic. You also need to be aware of dangers on the road, including late-night joggers, nocturnal animals, and impaired drivers. Always keep your eyes on the road to avoid sudden issues that seemingly come out of nowhere.

You Have Options

If you want to reap the rewards of a long commute and stay at a job you like, you do have options to make your situation less unbearable. One is to take the train, subway, or bus to work. Most public transportation runs like clockwork, so you can depend on it to get you where you need to go. Plus, when you can focus less on the road, you can also read a book, listen to music, or do whatever helps calm you before work.

Another option is to ask around and learn if anyone is interested in carpooling with you to work. You could switch places with other employees and take turns driving. There are various benefits to carpooling, including that it costs less since you don’t need to fill your own car every few days or put wear and tear on your vehicle that can lead to costly repairs over time. You’ll also be helping the planet and producing fewer emissions by taking one car together instead of everyone driving alone. Best of all, when you’re sitting with coworkers for that long, you can have conversations, and it can be an incredible networking tool that could help you as you progress through the company.

A final option to mitigate the stress associated with a long commute is to ask your job about working a hybrid schedule, where you work a few days in the office and the others at home. It can give you a healthy balance. The other option is to find a job that allows you to work remotely to eliminate the commute.

Conclusion

Facing a long commute to work can be daunting at first, but you can change your frame of mind by considering the benefits and rewards of the long drive. Weigh out all the pros and cons and make the best decision for your career.

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About the author: Miles Oliver is a freelance contributor whose writing focuses on professional development. You can reach him at moliverpages@gmail.com

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