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Home Ownership and Careers

Your dream house can be a career anchor. 

I’m not waving anyone off from buying a home, but I am suggesting that you look at your priorities so you can properly balance home and location desires with your career goals.

Here are some questions to consider:

Are you the “settling down” type? If you are, this can close some doors on your career. However, that’s a trade-off many are willing to make. That’s fine because ultimately, it’s your happiness and satisfaction with your life that matters.

You may be motivated to take a job that you believe comes with a lot of security so you can put down the roots that make you comfortable. However, recent history has taught us that many jobs considered “safe,” are not. A big house payment can morph into big worries.

Are you a person with a strong career focus? If you value career over home ownership and location, renting is often your better choice. It gives you the flexibility and mobility you need to move to your ideal career opportunities.

Have you found “heaven on earth” and need to live there? Perhaps you want to be near the mountains or the ocean. Maybe living in the same town as your family is your priority. In cases like these, you need to strategize how you can maintain some flexibility.

Your specific career path might not be heavily in demand in your desired location. Give thought to how you can apply your experience and expertise to other industries, or even change career paths – one that allows for easier transitions.

Other options include starting your own business, contracting, consulting or finding an employer willing to allow you to telecommute. Although we’re reading a lot about remote employees today, most companies would still prefer to have their team on-site.

These situations make a professional consider some deeply personal and foundational questions about his or herself. And for many, there are family issues as well. My advice is to consider them early on, so you’re prepared to steer your career in ways that reach your ultimate goals in life.