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5 Benefits of Relocating for a Co-op Work Term

Monday, January 30, 2017

As a co-op student who just came back from three consecutive work terms where I re-located for my two positions in Ottawa (4 months) and Vancouver (8 months), I have gained some of the most amazing work experiences in places I have never been to before!

I know a lot of students prefer to find a position in Guelph or stay somewhere close to home, so I decided to write about the benefits of taking up a position further away in hopes to influence others on having an open mindset on relocating.

1)    Unparalleled career opportunities


There are many more opportunities if you consider looking for career advancements in other places, instead of just always searching within the same city or area. Sometimes, there are positions elsewhere that are incomparable to the ones you could find close by. For example, there may be a company or institute on the other side of the country that is one of the leaders in research for the field of study you are interested in! It may end up being an experience that could take you far!

2)    Travel like a tourist


I found that when working full-time, I had more free time and was less stressed than being a full-time academic student. Depending on your job, you may be working overtime and during the weekends or just the usual 40-hour week. Regardless, there is plenty of time outside of work hours. If you relocated to a new city or even a new country, there is the opportunity to explore the area! Whether it is art galleries, museums, sightseeing, food, beaches, hikes, or other outdoor events, a new environment with new activities that you could check out surrounds you.

3)    Expand your network


As with all co-op positions, it is important to maintain connections with your employer and co-workers in your professional network. The advantage of relocating for your co-op is that you are now building your network to span across multiple cities or countries. After having already been there for a co-op term, you are much more likely to access other career opportunities available there in the future. 

4)    Discover yourself


Relocating for a co-op term further away from home allows you to develop your independence. You will have the time to really understand and learn more about yourself in this new situation, as the distance may make it more difficult to quickly access the help of your family or friends. Your sense of self will be stronger, which will help you to assess your strengths and weaknesses. 

5)    Develop transferable skills uncommon to local positions 


By moving to a different area for work, it shows other employers that you are willing to take challenges as you are putting yourself in a new environment. You will also improve your adaptability and flexibility. As such, you could highlight your ability to adapt to any environment you encounter in the future.

 

There are many factors to consider when it comes to relocating for a co-op term, especially financial matters (flight/travel and accommodation expenses). However, the advantages that come with relocating may be more rewarding than expected! Keep your options open and it may work in your favour to avoid limiting yourself of various opportunities out there!  

Best of luck in your job search!

- Tinya