Having specialized training or expertise in a particular field opens a world of possibilities. You may get a job offer you never expected halfway around the country or even the world. You might feel flattered if a company wants to hire you and maybe even pay you far more than you’re making.
However, there are many factors to consider when figuring out if the offer is a good move for you. Should you relocate for a job? The answer isn’t always as simple as you might think.
A survey by global staffing firm Robert Half found 62% of workers would relocate for the right job. The choice to migrate is complex, however, and depends upon the relocation package offered as well as family situations, cost of living, and many other elements.
If you’re one of those faced with the idea of relocating to grow or enhance your career, you may feel a bit overwhelmed by the decision at hand.
How do you consider relocation?
Relocating isn’t an easy decision to make. You have to factor in how much you like your current position and location along with financial factors. The best way to decide if you want to take a position in another place is to run through some of the most common considerations.
Cost of living
The job offer that sounds amazing may not go as far as you think if the cost of living is high in the location. For example, $54,000 goes a lot further in a small town in Alabama than in New York City.
Factor in everything from the cost of a gallon of milk to the rent for an average-sized apartment. Even the cost of gasoline might vary from place to place.
Check the average salary for the same position in the location the job is. What you think is a great offer might actually be a lowball one comparatively.
Consider the relocation bonuses and perks the company offers. Some businesses have even taken to giving monetary bonuses if you commit to working for them for a set period. An extra few thousand dollars may help you pay off your student loans. If you want to stay in the area where your family resides, you could relocate for a number of years and then return to the previous location.
Companies might have a guide for housing in the area or may offer temporary housing for workers. Moving to a new city is a big undertaking. Taking advantage of a company apartment lets you become familiar with the area and decide where you’d like to live long-term.
You have to factor in how you’ll get from your new home to your job. If you currently live in the city and take public transportation, but you plan to move to the suburbs for your new position, you may need to buy a car, pay for insurance, get plates, and pay for maintenance and fuel.
Transportation costs could add up unless carpooling is an option. If this is a concern, talk to your new employer about the added costs and see if they have a solution. Some companies offer loaner vehicles to attract top-notch staff.
Added costs of visits
If you have family and friends in your current location, consider how often you’ll want to go home to visit. You’ll either have the added cost of fuel and vehicle maintenance or airfare. You’ll also have less time to spend on vacations, as you’ll need to use your paid time off (PTO) for traveling home.
What about where you’ll live? Is it ideal for family and friends to visit you? Are they willing to make the trip? How often?
You should also consider connectivity and the Internet of Things (IoT) when considering a move. Will you be able to get the same speed as your current location? Does your new position allow you to work from home at times? If so, your internet connection matters.
For example, if you have access to 5G, you can download a movie in about six seconds compared to seven minutes via 4G. Be sure to research whether fiber-optic internet is available, how far into the suburbs you can move and still access the latest features, and whether the town is a smart city or not.
Since so many devices now connect to the IoT, knowing what’s available in a location makes all the difference. Moving to the wilds in Alaska means far different connectivity than moving to Chicago.
Making a move to a new company may open up additional training opportunities you don’t have in your current city. Talk to the potential employer about any educational funding or training opportunities that might help you grow your career in the future.
You should also consider the proximity to a reputable college offering what you most want to study. So, if you want to get a Master’s in Business Administration from Harvard, a job offer in Boston where they pay for most of your tuition is pretty attractive.
Some companies offer their own programs where you can earn college credits, but the training applies to the job at hand. This might be attractive if you don’t mind relocating to where you’re needed within that company as you earn promotions.
Term of employment
Some positions are contracted and only good for a year or so. Do you really want to uproot your family, furnishings, pets, and life for a short 12 months? On the other hand, a three-year contract may be exactly what you’re looking for since you could try out the new city and have enough time to find another position if you love it there.
How secure is the job? Even a permanent position may be an at-will employment opportunity. Can you rely on the company to keep you working, or is there a risk of a layoff? Is your current position more secure?
Go with your gut
You should weigh the various factors and decide which place would be the best fit for you and your lifestyle. If necessary, take a weekend trip and see what the area has to offer. Join online groups for the area and ask any questions you still have.
You can make a pros and cons list, talk to family and friends, and crunch the numbers – but choosing to move to a new place involves so much more than statistics. You have to trust your gut and make the best decision you can.
About the Author:
Emily Newton is the Editor-in-Chief of Revolutionized, an online magazine showing how technology is innovating different industries.