Changing Jobs

Are You Willing to Relocate for a Job? 5 Questions to Ask Yourself

relocate for jobs
Written by Joanna Hughes

With the internet continually breaking down barriers, the job hunt has gone global. In fact, relocation rates are at their highest since 2009, according to analysis from the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Your perfect job may be hundreds — or even thousands! — of miles away, but while relocating may sound like a no-brainer, the fact is that many more factors go into the decision process than simply salary. Consider these five questions for determining whether relocating is right for you.

Is this in your future?

1. Can you maintain your standard of living?

It’s easy to get carried away by a salary offer, but the truth is that compensation is relative due to cost of living differences.

For example, let’s say you’re contemplating a cross-country move from Portland, Maine to San Francisco, California. According to NerdWallet’s handy Cost of Living Calculator, the cost of living is a whopping 54 percent higher in San Francisco than in Maine. More specifically, if your current salary is $50,000, you’d have to make more than $76,000 to maintain your current standard of living. Certain factors vary more than others: while transportation varies by just eight percent between the two cities, the cost of housing differs by a staggering 161 percent.

2. Is the position stable?

Job security is never guaranteed, but some jobs have more potential than others in terms of security. Before accepting a position and agreeing to uproot your life, do your homework. Has the potential employer been in business for a long time? Are they financially solvent? Sources like the Better Business Bureau, the company’s SEC filings, and even a quick Google news search can turn up useful information about whether the benefits of relocating for a prospective company outweigh any accompanying risks.

3. Are you prepared to pay steep moving costs?

While some companies cover moving costs, this is becoming less common practice in today’s tight economy. In some cases relocation expenses are negotiable, so be sure to inquire about the possibility. And keep in mind: a company’s willingness to pay for your move demonstrates an appealing investment on their end.

If relocation coverage isn’t possible, don’t underestimate how much you’re likely to spend on the process. While costs vary by family size, distance, and household goods, the average price tag on a domestic move is nearly $13,000. If you don’t have these funds set aside, it can make or break the possibility of a move.

4. How will your family be affected?

Let’s face it: moving is no fun. And even the most seamless relocation can place stress on the family unit. Keep in mind that the move isn’t entirely about you, but about all of the members of your household. Are the long-term gains worth any temporary stress and/or upheaval?

Be sure to check out everything from academic rankings to college matriculation statistics in advance in order to determine whether the schools, programs and resources are good.

Also, don’t forget to take into account your partner’s career prospects, as well as your kids’ interests and activities.

5. Will you enjoy living there?

All cities and towns have their own unique strengths and weakness. Before agreeing to relocate, it’s helpful to first spend some time in the prospective city. Explore everything from neighborhoods and housing to shopping and attractions. This will help you get a sense of the local vibe.

Choosing to accept a new job is a momentous decision on its own, let alone when a relocation is involved. By taking time to think through all of the considerations, you can make a decision that will ensure both professional and personal fulfillment. Wondering what jobs are out there waiting to be discovered? Sign up for access to relevant jobs on TheJobNetwork today!

About the author

Joanna Hughes

Joanna Hughes is a freelance writer who specializes in business, human resources and the job market. She lives with her family in the beautiful White Mountains region of New Hampshire.