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I’ve always been extremely lucky when it comes to my commute to work.
The longest I’ve ever driven is seven miles, then I moved and it turned into a two-mile drive. One more move and job change later, and I was left with a brisk five-minute walk to work. It doesn’t end there, though. My commute now consists of walking into my home office.
On the flip-side, I know way too many people who spend at least an hour in the car commuting to work, my husband included.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 8% of the U.S. population commutes an hour or longer.
If you find yourself in the above-mentioned group, is your long commute proving to be worth it to you?
Is a long commute worth it?
Deciding whether or not to take a job with a long commute is a tough decision. In order to come to a conclusion, you must ask yourself these questions:
- How much time will be spent commuting? – Figure it out, in detail. Things to consider are your method of transportation (car or public), whether or not you’ll be in traffic, what time you’ll need to leave for work and what time you’ll get home. Ask yourself if it’s worth spending additional time away from your home and family in order to get to work each day.
- Is this your dream job? – If you’re taking “just any old job,” a long commute will most likely make you miserable. Dealing with traffic day in and day out will more than likely get the best of you if you’re not going to a job you love.
- Can you move? – Long commutes that are only temporary aren’t as bad since there is an end in sight. If you’re able to move – now or in the near future – closer to work, the commute won’t be as big of a deal as it is for those unable to move closer.
- How much will you be spending on gas or public transportation? – Some people choose to commute further distances because they’ll be making more money, but after the cost of gas they may not be. Figure out how much you’ll be spending getting to and from work and see if it’s really worth it financially to commute further.
Only you can decide if the commute is worth it. Before accepting the position, make sure to think it over long and hard before deciding.
How to make your commute enjoyable
So you’ve buckled down and decided it’s best to take the position with the long commute. Now what?
The good news is you don’t have to suffer day in and day out on your drive. Make it enjoyable!
A few ideas for enjoying the ride include:
- Listening to your favorite morning radio show – Give yourself something to look forward to each day!
- Stopping for coffee – Since it’s expensive, maybe only stop on Fridays. Either way, it gives you something to look forward to before getting in the car and heading to work.
- Taking the scenic route – Though this may add time to your commute, it may be worth it if it saves you the stress of dealing with traffic.
- Carpooling – Have a friend that lives just as far? Suggest carpooling. It gives you both some company on the ride over.
- Listening to your favorite music – I love country music but my husband doesn’t. If I had a long commute to work, I can guarantee you I’d have country music blasting the whole way there!
At the end of the day, only you can decide if your long commute is a plus or minus for your career.
Good driving is not just about obeying the rules of the road. It is about your whole attitude to driving, and behaving courteously, safely, and attentively at all times.