I’ve recently finished the first draft of the section of the book on PTO, or Paid Time off. PTO is becoming critically important as we continue to evolve into a location transient professional workforce. One fo the subjects I explore is why so few people live where their families and connections are from.
A great term that i’ve found and I use is the idea of a ‘Heart Home’ or the answer people give when they are asked “Where is your Home?”.
Population Growth is Uneven and That Causes Problems
Then I come across these numbers. There are two very interesting elements to it.. The first is that population growth is uneven. That means professionals are moving to where professionals already exist. So the verdant green fields of rural Chatham County North Carolina will stay mostly the tramping grounds of cows. The cost of living, most easily seen in prices for houses and groceries in the Triad (Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem), Triangle (Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill) and Charlotte areas will explode because the competition is growing.
The second element is that if there is less growth and technical investment in the parts of the state that don’t already have technical infrastructure. This means no additional fiber optics to the homes. Why? Well their is very little incentive for telco’s to plan for build outs if they don’t see growth. This means less opportunity for professionals to work remotely if they choose the benefits of country life (and there are many benefits to it).
As you know most of my current writing is about Professional Individual Contributors, or PIC’s. These White Collar non-management types generally are intelligent and highly skilled in some sort of speciality. Their unique skills and experiences tend to get them moving all over creation to find the right fit of a job with the best possible income and quality of life. Ultimately though, these numbers tell me that it’s a self defeating effort. When done in mass, the additional costs and complexity of moving to a fast growth region tend to mitigate the perceived benefits. The chances of moving to a low cost of living yet highly connected area are slim as they don’t exist and these trends mean their is little likely hood they will exist in the near term future.
For the professional population, maybe the grass isn’t always greener in some new city. Well, except maybe for Chatham County, because if it wasn’t, we wouldn’t see all those cows.