4 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Relocating for a Job
In the never-ending quest for career advancement, many American workers find themselves faced with an all-too-common and tough decision at some point in their lives: should they take a new job or accept a promotion that will require relocating to a new city, state, or country?
Changing jobs or positions within the same company can be both stressful and exciting, and the changes that workers experience are even more dramatic when they involve packing up their things and loading them into a moving truck headed toward a destination several hundred or even thousands of miles away.
Jobs that require relocation can offer a fast track to higher pay, increased responsibilities, and a more prestigious title, but they can also lead to feelings of loneliness, relationship problems, and even regret.
It’s important to be fully prepared for the consequences of making such a life-changing decision and to know when you should accept and when you should turn down such an offer. At TA Staffing, we recommend that all workers who are facing this decision should ask themselves the follow questions before committing to a new professional journey:
- How will the move affect your family? There’s a big difference between accepting a new job or promotion that requires relocation when you’re single and ready for adventure, and accepting when you’re married with kids, a mortgage, and roots in your local community. People who fit into the latter category can and frequently do take jobs that require relocating, but the decision must be made in the best interests of everyone, including your spouse and your children. Will your partner be able to find a new job or be happy in the new location? Will your kids be able to enroll in good schools and thrive in their new environment?
- Will your moving expenses be reimbursed? Don’t be wooed by a signing bonus or higher salary without first considering the costs of moving. Packing up your home and toting your possessions across the state or across the country can cost up to $20,000—especially if you pay movers to do all of your packing for you. Most companies offer some form of relocation benefits for employees, but not all do. Make sure that the move will be worth it financially and that you’ll be able to keep your head above water if you have to pay for the big initial hit of moving expenses out of pocket.
- What will living in your new city actually be like? If you hate cold weather, it doesn’t make much sense to move to a frigid climate unless the job offer is simply impossible to turn down. It’s also important to make sure there are enough activities to keep yourself and your family occupied, especially if you’re used to living in a big metro area with plenty of attractions. Finally, consider the cost of living. Even big salary increases can be heavily negated and even result in net losses when moving into areas with high income taxes and expensive housing markets.
- How stable is the company? Committing to an offer that requires relocation always requires a leap of faith, but that leap should always be made with as much information as possible. Whether it’s a new position with your current employer or a new company altogether, make sure the company’s finances and management are stable and that it’s committed to its workers. Checking online reviews, stock performances, and connecting with current and former employees can help you gain insight into an office culture that could be your launching pad to success—or your biggest regret.