Should I Relocate for a Job? Questions to Consider Before Making the Big Move

June 6th, 2013 | Articles, Job Search | 2 Comments »

should I relocate for a job

The only thing more consequential than switching jobs is making the decision whether or not to relocate yourself and your family to a new town or city. While a new career opportunity may sound great at first, the costs of moving, both financially and personal, may be too much to burden at this point in your life. Relocating your family is a big step, and should not be taken without much consideration, so before you set out to make the big move consider these questions first.

Is this where I really want to live?

The most important factor to take into account when considering a move is location. Where are you going to live? The United States has one of the most culturally and geographically diverse landscapes in the world. Where you will be moving to may feel a lot different from where you live, and many that do relocate to a new area tend to regret it later.

To put it concisely: live where you want to live, and choose our work location from there. Unless you are struggling to find employment and are facing delinquent payments on your rent or mortgage, think long and hard about what type of place you want to live in. If you love the feel of city life, don’t move out to a rural Midwestern town. Consider the locations of mountains, lakes, beaches, as well as the general feel of the area.

Work can be stressful, which is to be expected, but your time off should be exactly what you want it to be. Why settle down in a place that doesn’t suit you?

Is this the right job for me?

This should undoubtedly be asked by anyone who is mulling over a job offer, but the stakes are raised once accepting the position involves uprooting your entire livelihood. The worst possible scenario of relocating for a new position is to end up in an area that you don’t like while also having the job that caused the move turn out to be quite different than you expected. Ask yourself if there is a rewarding future with this company? Do the benefits and pay outweigh the costs and stress of moving? Make sure you are absolutely positive that this is the right career decision before you make the big move.

Can I afford it?

Moving is not as easy as throwing everything you own into truck and driving it to a new location. There are plenty of costs to consider. The truck, professional movers, gas, hotels, food, and new household items are all things to consider. This can all add up to take a large chunk out of your savings or put you into debt. Also, consider what is left on your mortgage as well as the current real estate market. If you rent, calculate the cost of living in your new location. Before accepting a job offer, ask the company if they provide relocation assistance. Do not assume that they will automatically pay for your expenses.

What does my family think of this?

Finally, take into account the opinions of your family and friends. Although you should branch out and do what you want to do, work where you want to work, and live where you want to live, it is always best to consider how those closest to you feel about your move. Think about who you are leaving behind and how they will be affected by your absence.

If you are married and have children, ask them how they feel about leaving their home and friends behind. Are you taking your spouse away from their family? Are you pulling your kids out of the school they have attended all their life? Will your spouse be able to find a job that they will be happy with? It doesn’t have to be the primary factor in making this decision, but never exclude those closest to you altogether.

By Kevin Withers

Image courtesy of gabrielsaldana via Flickr

2 Responses to “Should I Relocate for a Job? Questions to Consider Before Making the Big Move”

  1. Lisa says:

    When relocating for work you also need to think about what if the job doesn’t work out. I recently spent almost all the money I had to relocate for a job. Been here since April 16th for a job that was supposed to start April 22nd. I still haven’t started. Money is running out fast. It all started with the company pushing out the start date a week. Then it was pushed out indefinitely. I don’t know what is going on. I had a contract with a company with an outstanding reputation. As of a few days ago I hired an attorney who is trying to recoup some of what I lost.

  2. Kevin Withers says:

    HI Lisa,

    Thank you for replying with your own personal experience. I am very sorry to hear that you are having problems with the position you accepted. Your story adds another great point to the notion that relocating for a job is a very big decision that should not be taken lightly.

    Perhaps others will learn from your situation. Best of luck and I hope everything works out for you.

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