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Tree Change Could Equal Career Change


By Sonya Buck, Australia


Whether you are maddened by the peak hour traffic, tired of donning a business suit every day or want to offer your family an improved lifestyle, a Tree Change may be the perfect solution for you.


From my experience there are many daily differences when you ‘go bush’ most of them positive, while others not negative, they may be just different. 


Advantages of moving inland include a shorter or more enjoyable commute and you’ll just need to get used to waving to people who wave to you on your way home.  You’ll also discover a vast night sky full of stars, not hard to take at all.


There are some great schools in the larger rural towns and cities, many of them offering day places alongside the boarders – usually from the city!  There is also fresh air, stress free daily life and a slower pace.  Must I go on?


But what happens to your career?  Unless you’ve recently come into a lot of money and can retire to a new life of growing your own vegies, you may need to continue to work when you make the move to the country.  Therefore, there could be a mind shift involved in the working life you undertake in the country. 


Often we are defined by our job position, we’ve done the hard yards and have achieved a certain career status.  The mind shift I refer to is that of a switch to a true lifestyle focus.  Being home in daylight to play with the children before dinner and sitting on the verandah watching the sunset may need to replace the career identity you worked hard to achieve during your career.


I suppose I am just trying to subtly hint that you may need to work in a position 3 rungs lower on the career ladder or change your type of career entirely.


Just a ‘heads up’, unless you are lucky to work via the internet from home or you find the Head Office of a company in your nearest town, many of the jobs available in the city will not be on offer in rural areas.  Also in the main you’ll find salaries lower, but remember you may be paying a quarter of the house price (and sometimes land) than the city property prices, equating to a far lower mortgage or even no mortgage!


You may be considering an on farm business such as raising livestock or growing produce and this would be your main source of income.    Like any business start-up, it has risk and one option might be to work as someone’s employee while you starting this business on the side. 


Many of the smaller farmers I’ve met supplement their income with jobs in town.  For two things, the income is regular and it assists in drought proofing your on farm income.


Some careers skills will be transferrable to the country, but in some circumstances completing online or part time study before you leave the city could assist you in obtaining a new role in the country.  


You may even take up an online role before you leave the ‘big smoke’ which can be undertaken from any location.  Just a tip:  The NBN does not have coverage in many rural areas and your download speeds might scare you a little!


If you are considering the change, you may like to scope out a few rural areas.  Remember the feeling you have when you are on holidays in a place may differ to living in that location.  Does the location have all of the facilities your family needs on a daily basis?


Just another tip:  All country towns joke that you’re counted as almost local after 25 or 30 years of living there, but I’ve found joining local community and special interest groups will help your acceptance and promote new friendships.  With children participating in sports or their interests, your circle of friends may also increase. 


Check out to see if there are any roles on offer which suit your current skills, or may be the type of roles you could study towards and obtain work down the track.  Check back regularly to review new roles on offer.


10 years on I’m so pleased I made my escape to the country.  I must go now, I’m off to look at those beautiful stars.