Relocating for Your Dream Job: Is it for you?

Have you ever considered relocating for your job? Whether you’re looking for work in the tourism industry or searching for your next travel opportunity, there are boundless benefits to moving outside your comfort zone and relocating. As Lauren Cowie,  Digital Marketing Specialist at Alba Thermal Springs & Spa, has shown us through her various and often regional relocation experiences, “when you put yourself out of your comfort zone, magic things happen.” 

From Tasmania to the Kimberley, Lauren has been there and worked that (even with a hot air balloon tour operator!).  We had a chat with her about her tourism industry experiences across Australia and the questions to ask yourself when deciding whether relocation is the right decision for you. 

1. Are you looking to diversify your work experience?

Looking beyond your hometown for work opportunities can be a great way to expand your skillset, and Lauren found that relocating was the perfect way to do just that. While working in an industry Development role at Destination Melbourne, Lauren had the urge to know more about the industry as a whole.

“I felt that because I was so green and new to the industry, I didn’t have the depth of experience to talk to the development aspect of the role. I wanted to round out all that experience; work in lots of different roles and organisation styles so that if I come back full circle and work in an industry development role, I can lean back on that experience.” 

From this, Lauren made it her mission to gain as much diverse work experience as she could,  from small family businesses in Melbourne to large corporate organisations in Adelaide. It’s worth considering whether this resonates with you and your career trajectory (because more experience is never a bad thing!)

Moving regionally, or out of your current city, can open up opportunities to connect with roles you haven’t explored before – ones that might give you a new perspective on your career as a whole. 

2. Do you need a better work-life balance? 

If you live and work in the city, I’m sure you know it has its perks – late-night Uber Eats, endless shopping options, and plenty of bars for a cheeky, after-work cocktail. But as Lauren has experienced, moving regionally gives us the opportunity to escape the busy streets and explore the outdoors in ways that can’t be done in the city centre.  

“I used to commute over 3 hours to get to work every day; I would drive an hour and a half into the city and I’d work for 8 hours and I drive an hour and a half home and then it would be dark,” Lauren shares. This is the reality for many people living in metropolitan areas, fighting the hordes of traffic daily. 

 “It’s just nice to get out of the hustle and bustle, and just be and work in a beautiful place,” she tells us. “Working regionally creates a really excellent work-life balance. You can go snorkelling before work, and after you might go for a kayak or a hike in a national park.” 

Australia is a beautiful country with what feels like endless scenes to take in, so while relocating regionally might mean giving up your quick trips to McDonald’s (because there is no McDonald’s), you are allowing yourself experiences that you might never have otherwise. It is an opportunity to change, grow, and learn about yourself, your country, and your work. 

3. Are you worried it might get lonely? 

Moving somewhere new is always a scary thing, especially when you don’t know anyone. Making friends can be a big hurdle to feeling comfortable in a new place, but Lauren assures us that small towns offer a sense of comradery that you might not find elsewhere. 

“Cities can feel far more isolating than isolated areas,” she says. “Yes, the people that you can integrate with in regional areas is small, but it sometimes feels more enriching because people are more likely to reach out. I think in metro areas, people are more insular and they stay to their groups.” 

Wherever you are, if you are struggling to make friends, know this – you’re not alone. The key is recognising the opportunities to connect with people, such as in the workplace. Lauren highlights that being open-minded and getting out of her routine were great stepping stones to start making friends when working in larger cities like Melbourne, or smaller towns in Tasmania and Adelaide.

“I started involving myself in community activities, going to lots of different types of art classes, like ceramic or tapestry workshops, or yoga classes. I was meeting people in those groups that I connected with.” 

4. Why not take an opportunity when it arises?

Life is full of responsibilities and limitations, so sometimes, taking an opportunity when you can is the best decision for your future and career. It is important to know what you are passionate about and what you want to work towards, and then take steps to get there. 

“When you say yes, more doors open,” Lauren says, explaining how saying yes to opportunities like the Young Tourism Network, her role at Destination Melbourne, and attending various events have shown her how young people are often in frontline roles for tourism. From this, Lauren tells us young people can “map out what we want the future of the industry to look like.” 

“It is important to create opportunities for young people to have their voices heard and not just feel like they’re a part of it; to feel included, and that they are an important person in the greater industry.” 

Lauren has built herself an expansive life by taking the leap and relocating when it felt right for her, and she continues to reap the benefits – now working a job that she loves and feeling well-rounded with her knowledge of the tourism industry.