Should I move from Florence to the UK just for a job?

13th September, 2008

I’ve been offered a job in the UK. The job, the salary and the possibilities are beyond my expectations. However, trying to think in pounds instead of euros (and changing them every time I visit my family) and in miles rather than kilometres, having to change the plugs and learn to drive on the other side, and – why don’t I say it? – facing the weather and food, all make me feel a bit uncomfortable, especially since it would be for at least five years. Am I right to worry?
Anna, Florence

Dear Anna,

Do not worry about adjustment costs such as currency, driving on the left and changing plugs. In the context of a five-year visit they are trivial.

More serious are the lasting compromises you must make. You are right to mention the food. You will also be far from your family. Who is to say whether money and a good job outweigh these concerns?

Since the price and quality of goods is different in the UK, your consumption bundle should also change. You would be wise to drink tea instead of coffee, and to seek out daring new art rather than hoping to find British Renaissance masterpieces.

Think of this move as an experiment. Your time in the UK will open up new options: the younger you are, the more valuable those options, because you will have a lifetime to take advantage.

So your age counts: being British, I am too much the gentleman to ask what it is.

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