So You Don't Want to Hire Me Because I Live in Philly? Here's What You're Missing.

I can't tell you how many times I've read through exciting, compelling job opportunity descriptions only to come to the end where it says in fine print, "Local candidates only." Granted, I can see some benefits to this. First, a company doesn't want to pay for someone to move, especially if it's not guaranteed that the candidate will stay. Budgets are tight, let alone dealing with the waiting period of said candidate packing up and shipping out to your location. Second, there are regional traditions, cultures, language conflicts of interest to consider. It's kind of awkward when your Japanese co-workers chow down on Yaki Imo and all you've got is your American peanut butter and jelly with the crusts chopped off. Need a 300dpi, CMYK photo optimized for mobile? Good luck asking for that in Finnish since the only two languages you wrote down in the "Language Fluency" section were English and Pig Latin.

I get it. It's a risk. But when we talk about the cost of having an "out-of-towner" come work for your company, are we talking about monetary cost or are we talking cost value? There's a real difference between the two and it's not always clear which a company is asking for. Can you put a price on an exceptional, loyal, trustworthy candidate? One who works seamlessly with others, implements improved standards, takes initiative to not only better him/herself but also to better the company as a whole? Value cannot be defined (or should I say confined?) to distance.

Aside from bringing inherent professional characteristics to a job, I could also bring useful, practical Philly skills to the workplace, wherever that may be. You say you want a candidate with strong, verbal communication? Try debating with your Geno's Cheese Steaks-loving, South Philly neighbor on why you think Pat's Cheese Steaks is better. Not only do you need to hold your own in the argument for an appalling length of time (South Philly natives do NOT back down), you have to have the evidence to back it up. We're talking variables such as average wait time, courteousness of staff, selection of toppings, etc. So anytime a company requests that the candidate "Considers all possible outlets of a project", I have to chuckle; that's easy. Try problem-solving when the #23 bus is experiencing delays, traffic is bumper-to-bumper on highway 76, and the subway is shut-down because someone delivered a baby (true story). Seeing alternative possibilities is what this Philly girl does on a daily basis. I recognize that one way of thinking, one way of getting from point A to point B isn't going to work.

Similarly, one type of person isn't going to benefit anyone either. If it's true what they say about a person being a "product of their environment", wouldn't a company want to diversify their products? The beautiful thing about people from a variety of places is a different way of seeing; unique perspectives making it certain that a company does not stay stagnant in their approach.

For all the companies who claim not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, etc. maybe you could also include "location" on the list. Because now you know exactly what you are missing, and at what cost?