Should I Stay or Should I Move For a New Career?

Julia Novakovich |


While men may easily decide to move to a new city in order to explore a new career, women tend to be more hesitant to do so. There are many different reasons for this, and they have to do with societal expectations, financial earnings, and the perceptions of a woman's role in various career fields.

If you're weighing whether or not you should move to start a new career, here are some ideas to consider.

Are There Better Opportunities?

Some careers, such as tech and most of the sciences, are simply inhospitable to women. Inroads are being made, especially as some women speak out about the harassment they experience in the "bro" culture that populates tech and STEM fields, but there is a long way to go.

Moving out of Silicon Valley may give a woman a better chance to succeed, particularly in tech fields, in areas where the culture is more equitable.

A new city may also have better opportunities in a woman's chosen career field.

Is There a Better Climate for WOB?

WOBs, or women-owned businesses, often have access to higher levels of federal funding in order to try and compensate for the difficulty women face in getting loans from traditional lenders. But those federal programs aren't enough to level the playing field in areas of the country that are simply inhospitable to businesses owned by women.

Women who are engaged in starting their own companies may want to move to areas that are known to be more friendly and accessible to their businesses.

Is There Better Access to VC?

Venture capitalists are a huge source of funding for women-owned businesses, especially tech-based businesses. While some women are finding success through crowdfunding sites – women often achieve higher success than men through this funding method – some businesses need traditional VC funding in order to move forward.



Few venture capital firms have women on the boards and tend to be inhospitable to women-owned businesses. This can make a big difference for companies that are trying to hold their own in the competitive tech sphere.

Do You Really Need To Move?

Depending on what new career women want to investigate, they may not need to move – or at least they may be able to try out their new career ambitions before they move. For example, if a woman wants to try out writing, editing, or graphic design, all of these careers can start through online freelancing.

Women can try out job sites, get accustomed to work flow options, and then decide if they want to pursue the career in a more permanent way. If so, they can then assess the best cities for their chosen career and determine whether or not moving is the right decision.

Do You Really Want To Move?

Before planning out a move for a new career, women should think through whether or not they really want to move. Sometimes starting fresh with a new beginning can sound exciting and fun, but in reality, it can be more work than it appears to be. Even with the ability to maintain a social network through apps and chats, women can still lose important connections with family and friends over time, which may be unsatisfactory.

Of course, some women find that their familial relationships are a little easier with more distance between them. Women should think through whether they want to move to a new city with a family, or if they just want a new career – or both.

Can You Grow?

One objective women – and anyone – should have when they are considering career paths is what opportunities for growth they will have. It is entirely possible to hit the mid-level of a particular career and be entirely satisfied with the work at that level; not everyone wants to be a chief officer.

But if a woman has her eyes set on an eventual C-suite, she should either find a career that is amenable to her advancement or be prepared for the uphill battle.

Your Decision Won't Be Perfect

There's a real urge to go into a decision knowing that the perfect yes or no answer has been found. In real life, most decisions aren't like that. Sure, sometimes a woman will get offered her perfect career in a perfect city with a perfect boss, but that sort of lightning strike is incredibly rare. In most decisions, compromises must be made.

That's absolutely fine, as long as a woman is aware of what choices she is making, and she is prepared for the changes her move will bring.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer

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