Candidates, Consider Your Commute!

My friend recently advertised for a new receptionist for her chiropractic business. The whole process was time-consuming, took a lot of energy, and detracted from her real job, but it had to be done. She interviewed several candidates, narrowed it down to one, and made a hire. Breathing a sigh of relief, she started training the new girl. But after only two days of work, the new receptionist unexpectedly quit. Her reason? The commute was too long! In spite of the fact that the candidate had driven to the office to interview, she hadn’t experienced driving in rush-hour traffic until the morning she started. Once she did, she realized she couldn’t face it every day. The chiropractor had to start the hiring process all over again.

Another friend of ours got a job about a 45-minute drive from home—on a good day. While she wasn’t thrilled about the commute, which proved to take longer than she’d first thought, she was happily employed for 9 months. But then a local organization offered her a job 2 minutes from her house. It was a no-brainer! As a working mom with children involved in sports activities, she couldn’t pass up the opportunity and gave her notice immediately, even though she felt badly about leaving her previous boss.

The moral of these stories? Candidates, before accepting the job, take a practice run during the time you’ll actually be making the drive. Have you had a daily commute this long before? If so, how did it impact your personal life? If not, consider how early you will need to get up each morning, and how much time you will have left each evening for your personal life. The reality is, a long daily drive eventually takes its toll on anyone. If you think it’ll burn you out, gather up your courage, turn down the job, and wait for a better opportunity to present itself!

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