Work & Live Beyond the City
You too can Work and Live in the Country!
Hundreds of South Africans, singles and families, are joining the ‘semigration’ wave – and they’ve proved that it’s possible to have a slower-paced lifestyle and steady income outside major city centres.
The concept of semigration isn’t new – thousands of people all over the world are finding great careers in the smaller towns, villages and cities, preferring this life to the rat race in the big cities. In South Africa, Country Careers makes it easy for you to find many of the jobs that are on offer beyond big city limits.
Experts say that living and working outside city limits, or the ‘platteland’, is mostly a lifestyle choice. We’re tired of materialism, crime, traffic jams, pollution and long working hours – and smaller areas also offer a safer, cleaner way of life.
Getting a job ‘out of town’ is becoming easier too, as more people start and develop businesses in semi-urban areas and even in holiday spots. According to property website Property24.com, many coastal towns are experiencing a business boom, with a large number of former holidaymakers making their permanent homes here after finding stable jobs.
Estate agents say that there is a wide variety of age and income groups in the numbers of people choosing to leave their city lives. Some of these people have lost their jobs and found new employment in smaller towns and villages, while others join satellite branches of their parent companies, or choose a completely new career path and a new start.
What should you bear in mind when leaving the rat race behind and making the break to country living? Claire Bennette, former recruitment business owner and now director of Country Careers, has a few top tips and thoughts :
Q: Is there a trend towards moving away from the city to take up jobs in the ‘platteland’ or beyond city borders?
Definitely! There’s a trend towards country living, as quality of life and work/life balance are becoming more attractive to city people. Technology now allows us to be more mobile and flexible, increasing the opportunities to work outside the big cities.
Q:What are the unique challenges in finding a job in these areas?
There is obviously not the same volume of jobs, so if you’re looking for a specific kind of job, it may take longer for one to come up.
Q:What are the advantages of working outside the city centres?
Time gained is probably the greatest advantage – time that you’d normally spend driving or queuing or rushing in the cities is spent on living when you’re in the country. Even the bigger ‘country cities’ such as Port Elizabeth offer a wonderful quality of life from this perspective. Natural spaces are often no more than a few minutes’ away, crime is usually not much of an issue and communities are smaller, tighter and caring.
Q: Salaries – is it a given that you’ll have to take a salary cut if you move to, say, Hermanus, from Johannesburg?
You should generally, although not always, expect that you will have to take a salary cut. This is compensated for to some degree, in most places, by lower living costs. But the main compensation is that in the country there is more to life than work and ‘keeping up’ with everything. One has the time and space to smell the roses and to watch the children playing.
Small-town South Africa: Worth a Look
Our country boasts hundreds of coastal, desert and inland areas which are fast attracting people in search of the best life can offer.
Whether you’re looking to downgrade, to boost an existing career or simply to find a great job in a friendly, peaceful place, you’re spoilt for choice between our provinces.
From the Garden Route to the Karoo, there’s a place for everyone under the sun here – some close to city centres and others strictly off the beaten track. Live the good life.