Becoming a Geographic Arbitrageur
Do you live in a big and/or expensive city? Tired of grueling commutes to and from the office? Have the high prices of things like housing and fuel got you down? Well, thanks to technology, you can live in a place far removed from the tumult and overpriced living conditions of the metropolis. Using technologies like PCs, cell phones and the Web, you too can be a Geographic Arbitrageur (or GeoArb)—that is, someone who works for a large company based in one of these cities, but performs actual job tasks from a home office hundreds or even thousands of miles away.
I wish I could take credit for the GeoArb term, but I’ve read it in a couple of other places. But the concept is what counts, and in this day and age, it’s more significant than ever. Income for IT professionals may have risen some in the past few years, but it’s hardly kept pace with the skyrocketing prices of homes and gasoline. This is part of the reason that savings in this country are at an all-time low—really, after expenses, there’s just nothing left to save.
Solution? Go west (or east), young man (or woman)! Telecommute to those power centers on the coasts from a place where the cost of living is significantly less. And this doesn’t have to mean moving out to the middle of nowhere. Are you a nature lover? Then think about moving to a place like Jackson Hole, Wyo., or Asheville, N.C. Like the urban lifestyle in San Francisco or Washington, D.C., but not the cost? Then try a place like Chicago, Ill., Denver, Colo., or Nashville, Tenn., where you can get twice the house for half the price (not to mention a yard). This will not only allow you to save more money, but also provide you with more financial means to draw on when paying for certification.