Working In A Small Town: Benefits And Drawbacks

By Zach Buchenau

Last Updated: July 14, 2023

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Working in a small town has its benefits and disadvantages.

On the one hand, you’re more likely to develop a close-knit community that feels like family. On the other hand, there may not be as many job opportunities or things for you to do.

Depending on your situation, or your personality, working in a small town can be everything from challenging to rewarding, or maybe even a little boring.

But, like any situation, there are always ways to make the best of working in a small town.

In this post, we’ll explore some of the pros and cons of working in a small town, as well as a few tips to help you find as much enjoyment out of your situation as possible.

Let’s dive in!

Benefits Of Working In A Small Town

There’s no doubt about it, working in a small town has some clear advantages over working in a big city.

Making Friends

One of the main benefits of working in a small town is that you are more likely to develop a close, tight-knit community of friends.

Whether it’s with your coworkers, neighbors, church, or other groups, small towns are a great place to make friends.

There’s just something about the slower pace of life and the lack of anonymity that makes it easier to connect with people.

Plus, since everyone knows each other, you’re less likely to encounter someone with a hidden agenda.

In a small town, what you see is what you get.

Working In A Small Town: Pros, Cons, And Tips | Be The Budget

Supportive Community

Another big advantage of working in a small town is the supportive community.

Since everyone knows each other, people are generally more willing to help each other out.

For example, if you’re starting a business, the community is more likely to rally behind you and support your venture.

Or, if you’re going through a tough time with, say, a health issue or relationship problem, you’ll find that small-town people are there to support and encourage you.

Easier Commute

If driving through a big city isn’t your thing, working in a small town can be an excellent alternative.

Since traffic is lighter and commuting distances are shorter, working in a small town can save you a lot of time on the road and money at the pump.

Fun (And Cheap) Community Events And Activities

Small towns usually have a lot of fun community events, and the best part is that they’re usually pretty cheap (or even free) to attend.

For example, my small town throws an annual fireworks show, countless holiday parades/events, petting zoos, a weekly farmers market, and much more.

If you have kids, these kinds of events, alone, can make living, and working in a small town worth it. Seriously, nothing will make you fall in love with a small town more than participating in local events and activities.

See Also: 21 Ways To Save Money In Summer [And Still Have Fun!]

Slower Pace Of Life

Small towns are often slower-paced than big cities, and it can be nice to take a step back from the hectic hustle and bustle of the city.

Whether you’re working or just looking for some downtime, working in a small town can feel relaxing, rejuvenating, and restorative.

Cheaper Cost Of Living

I don’t think it’s any big secret that small towns are typically accompanied by a cheaper cost of living.

Beyond that, small-town living tends to place a higher emphasis on frugality than on keeping up with the Joneses. And that is a killer combination for people looking to save some extra money each month.

As an added bonus, (in my experience) the majority of people in small towns struggle less with contentment than people living in big cities. In fact, that was one of the things that drew me to small-town life in the first place.

Since small towns often force you to make do with fewer amenities, people learn how to live without certain things. And, in the process, people often find that they’re happier with less.

See also: 15 Easy Ways To Save Money Each Month

Drawbacks Of Working In A Small Town

Of course, working in a small town isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. There are some definite disadvantages to consider as well.

Limited Career Opportunities

Another drawback of working in a small town is that it can be more difficult to find a job. However, with the expansion of remote work over the last couple of years, this isn’t quite as big of a problem as it once was.

That said, remote work isn’t for everybody, so if you’re looking to move to a smaller town, it’s best to start your job search long before you make your move.

See also: Starting A New Job With No Money? Do These 5 Things!

Feeling Isolated

Another big downside to working in a small town is that it can feel isolating, especially if you’re new in town. 

Since everyone knows each other in small towns, there’s a real risk of feeling like an outsider.

That’s why, if you’re going to live in a small town, the one piece of advice I can give you is to force yourself to get involved with the community. Seriously, go to every community event. Find a good church and connect with new people. Hang out with co-workers outside of work and learn the ropes of small-town living!

The more involved you get, the less isolated you will feel. So if you’re living or working in a small town, get out of your comfort zone, and start making some connections.

Fewer Amenities and Restaurants

One of the biggest downsides to working in a small town is that you often have fewer amenities and restaurants from which to choose.

And if I’m being honest, having limited options for meals or entertainment can be quite frustrating at times. Not only do you have fewer choices, but the ones that are available may not be as high-quality.

How To Make The Most Out Of Working In A Small Town

Even though working in a small town can have its challenges, there are also a lot of great things about it. To help you make the most of working in a small town, here are a few tips:

Find Your Niche

One of the best things about working in a small town is that you’ll likely be able to find your niche quite easily.

Instead of being just another small cog in the giant machine of a big city, working in a small town often means working at something where you can make an impact and really shine.

In fact, depending on your niche, small towns provide you with a great opportunity to start a small business.

See also: 10 Side Hustles With Low Startup Costs (Less Than $100)

Embrace Local Traditions

In addition to finding your niche, working in a small town also gives you the chance to embrace local traditions.

From small-town festivals to farmers’ markets and everything in between, working in a small town gives you the opportunity to experience life at a slower pace and truly savor all that your community has to offer.

Plus, as I mentioned before, getting involved with local events and traditions is a great way to meet new people and form a community.

Explore The Area

If you’re working in a small town, another great way to make the most of it is to explore your surroundings.

You might be surprised to find how many things there are to do. Take advantage of the opportunity and go for hikes, visit local attractions, try some new restaurants, and explore the nearby towns.

There’s no reason to feel stuck working in a small town. With the right attitude and some creativity, you can find plenty to do.

9 Tips To Help You Find A Job In A Small Town

As we already discussed, one of the more difficult aspects of small-town living is that there tends to be fewer job opportunities.

But that doesn’t mean you should abandon your efforts! If living and working in a small town is important to you, here are a few simple tips to help you find work:

Utilize Local Resources

One of the best things about living in a small town, is that there will usually be plenty of local resources to help you find work. And since the town is small, the people involved in those local resources might be able to help you as well.

For instance, many small towns have career centers designed to help people find employment opportunities.

In addition, head to the library and check out their job search resources. You might even be able to get in touch with local employers and learn about any open positions.

Look For Remote Work Opportunities

As we mentioned earlier, working remotely has become a popular way to make the most of working in a small town.

With so many remote jobs available today, it’s easier than ever to find work that lets you live wherever you want. As long as you have a stable internet connection and the discipline required to work from home, you should be good to go.

Seriously, if you’re interested in working in a small town but can’t find a local job, consider hopping online and looking for location-indepentent work opportunities.

Talk about an easier commute!

See also: 11 Realistic Ways to Make $1,000 Per Month Online

Start Your Own Business

Another fantastic option (if you have the abilitiy) is to start your own business. Depending on your skillset, working for yourself might be a great way to make the most of working in a small town.

Since you won’t have to rely on finding a job, you can get started right away.

This option might not be for everybody, as you’ll probably need to have some money saved up before you move.

However, if you have the ability and desire, starting your own business is a great way to make a living in a small town.

See also: 15 Best Digital Side Hustles For 2022

If you’re planning to move to a small town, it’s important to start your job search before you actually move.

That way, you can hit the ground running when you arrive, and make sure you aren’t stuck looking for a job in a brand new town.

So, hop on the phone and start calling local businesses. If your future small town is within driving distance, start getting connected with local business owners and networking groups.

The more connections you make, and the more jobs you apply to before you move, the better off you’ll be when you actually arrive.

See also: What Does It Mean To Be A Self-Starter? 10 Key Traits

Join Local Networking Groups

Whether you’re living in a small town or a big city, networking groups will always be one of the best ways to find a job.

Not only do they give you the chance to connect with like-minded individuals and form strong working relationships, but many business owners attend networking events for the sake of finding new employees.

So, put a smile on, put yourself out there, and go to as many meetups as you possibly can. There’s no doubt about it, attending networking events is one of the best ways to find a job.

See also: Networking Event Tips: How To Prepare, Stand Out, And Follow-Up


If you want to get connected with local business owners and community leaders, one of the best things you can do is to volunteer.

Whether it be working with a local school, charitable organization, your church, or helping out with a local event, working as a volunteer can help you get your name out there and form connections in the community.

And the more connections you form, the easier it will be to find a job.

Find Work Through Your Church

If you attend a church in your small town, you should consider inquiring about any local job opportunities.

Churches often have job boards, or they can connect you directly with local businesses that are looking for help.

Walk In To Businesses

I realize this might sound a little aggressive, but if you have the courage to walk into businesses and ask if they have any job opportunities, you might be surprised how many people are willing to hire you.

Since so many people take the timid approach and only apply for jobs they find online, you ‘ll definitely stand out if you take the initiative to walk into businesses and introduce yourself.

If you’re working in a small town where people are friendly and willing to help each other out, it’s definitely worth a shot!

Talk To Your Real Estate Agent

When you move to a small town, I highly recommend getting connected with a local real estate agent.

Since they are familiar with the area, they might be able to help you find a job.

For instance, they might know of businesses that are hiring or have connections with people who are looking for employees.

Remember, a real estate agent’s job is to connect with tons of people (especially new people moving into town), and get to know their sales territory inside and out.

After all, the more people that move into their town, the more people there will be that need to buy a home.

Who knows, they may even have a job opening at their brokerage… Just sayin’.

Working In A Small Town: Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, working in a small town is about taking advantage of all the great things that smaller communities have to offer.

From small-town events and activities to working at a job that allows you to make an impact, there are plenty of great things about working in a small town. So if you’re thinking about making the move to a smaller community, don’t be afraid to make the leap.

Zach Buchenau

About The Author:

Zach Buchenau is a self-proclaimed personal finance nerd. When he isn't writing about budgeting, getting out of debt, making extra money, and living a frugal life, you can find him building furniture, fly fishing, or developing websites. He is the co-founder of BeTheBudget, and Chipotle's most loyal customer.

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