If you ever find yourself on the verge of making a major life change, like choosing either a new job or a new address, remember to factor in how traffic will affect your life. Newsflash: it will. With the never-ending road constructions, the increasing population and vehicles to match, and the lack of efficient systems in place in the nation's capital's major thoroughfares, Carmageddon is now part of one's daily life in Metro Manila. Thus, take into consideration the locations and terms of your would-be workplace or home as these are related to each other. The general rule is, go against the flow. Here's how:
Why not find a job with off-peak hours?
Try to go against the usual eight-to-five by taking the mid-day or night shift--that way, you can avoid the dreadful rush hour (usually 7am to 9am and 5pm to 9pm) which extends travel time to at least an hour for a just short one-way trip. Even so, make sure to leave for your destination right on time (or earlier) because even just a few minutes can affect your commute duration and may even cause you to experience that terrible bumper-to-bumper traffic.
Why not find a job located south from your home?
Try to go against the usual traffic flow by commuting toward the north side of the metro. In the mornings over the years, the northbound movement along Epifanio delos Santos Avenue or EDSA may appear bad, but it's not as worse as that of the southbound lane. The opposite is true on late afternoons until evenings, when the northbound side seems unbearable, looking like a sea of red lights not showing any signs of progress. The southbound traffic flow, on the other hand, although is catching up on the congestion, still leaves little room for hope. This northbound-southbound vehicle build-up phenomenon may be caused by the fact that most residential areas are found in the north while businesses are in the south.
Why not find a job within your home area?
Try to go against the usual grind of enduring hours on the road to get to the office by living where you work. This does not necessarily mean taking on a home-based job; it simply suggests that you can avoid being exposed to the horrible traffic entirely if your house and workplace are within walking or a short-ride distance from one another. Whether you've already been experiencing your dream career or dream living arrangements, you can take control of the situation by making this huge step of adjustment. Don't want to leave the comforts of your family home in Quezon City? Apply for a position in companies based in the area. Don't want to give up your public relations job in Makati? Invest in a nearby apartment or condo that is easily accessed by a quick jeepney trip.
Let's commute smart, work smart, and live smart. Good luck on embracing the change!*