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OLC Writer
Graduate Student

a laptop screen showing the text "Go Get It"
Relocating for a co-op can expose us to completely new culture, people and places, the combined impact of which can have profound impact on our personalities. Who knows, maybe we will find our next big inspiration, opportunity, or path in a different land.

Co-op positions for the summer are up for grabs and you might find yourself facing a slew of interviews even before spring officially starts. But when looking for jobs a lot of us shy away from ticking that one box on the form:

  • Willing to Move 

Yet, we all share and like those posts on social media about wanting to travel. I mean I know moving to Ottawa for a job with the government is not exactly the same as hiking up Machu Pichu with our best friends. But each has its own set of positives.  Some of the key reasons we should consider moving for a co-op are listed below.

1. Increased Opportunity 

Co-op jobs are competitive and almost everyone we know is in the queue to grab them. So when we selectively ignore certain job opportunities just because they are away from our homes or comfort-zones, we effectively reduce our own pool of opportunities. Willingness to relocate helps us increase the limits of our playing field. Sure, there are people competing for every job in every city, but there is no telling where we stand among that supply of candidates. Applying for jobs is always a gamble, and a willingness to move helps spread out our bets.

2. Cash and Culture

Specialists cite a higher pay and company culture as the main motivating forces for millennials who move for work. Even if money is not the most lucrative part of the job being offered, a company that fits our work ethic and goals are worth the move. San Francisco has been one of those very popular work destinations for millennials worldwide. Students have taken the risk of moving there with paltry starting pays and build rewarding careers in the tech field for decades. There are many other such locations depending on the kind of work we are looking for. The main goal here is to look past temporary hang-ups like moving costs, initial investment or low starting pays, and think about our long-term goals, the kind of companies we would like to be associated with in the future and work towards that.

3. Networking 

Just like willingness to move increases the number of jobs we can apply for, it also greatly increases the number of contacts we can make. While we can frequently network with our peers and prospective employers in the city we grew up and go to university in, moving to a completely new destination opens a hitherto inaccessible market to us. Imagine all the people we get to meet and network within a single national conference or job expo. Moving to a completely new destination can take that one opportunity and multiply it manifolds.

4. Risk Tolerance

We have all heard those disheartening tales of people who got stuck and stagnated in their lives because they either got too scared or too comfortable in their roles. When in university, we are just starting out and there are a lot of opportunities to be explored.  The way we approach our careers and opportunities at this time sets the tone for many years to come. Taking small risks like moving to a different city for a short few months, to try a new way of work and life, helps inculcate the ability to tolerate risks in us. As someone who has switched career paths, hopped between jobs and academia back and forth, I can personally say that little risks like moving away from my hometown right after my undergrad for a few years, helped me prepare myself to quit my job and make my biggest move halfway across the planet to try out something new and rewarding.

5. Explore, Grow and Adventure

It is probably most important to remember those co-op opportunities are not meant to be just a job. A job not only helps us earn money, gain work experience, and advance professionally. It also helps us grow and develop as individuals. A co-op opportunity should be milked for all its worth. Relocating for a co-op can expose us to a completely new culture, people and places, the combined impact of which can have a profound impact on our personalities. Who knows, maybe we will find our next big inspiration, opportunity, or path in a different land.

Beyond the Blog

OLC Writer
Graduate Student
Srijani previously worked as an Editor at SFU-OLC until she successfully completed and defended her thesis in the fall of 2019. She is currently working full-time and awaiting graduation.

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