How to decide if you should move for a job.
You’ve finally gotten that coveted job offer, but there’s one catch: you have to relocate. Even if you’re excited to move away and start over in a new city, it’s important to give yourself some time to review your options and determine if this is really the best decision before accepting the job.
This may seem like an obvious answer, but it’s worth noting. Sometimes it’s easy to caught up in the excitement of possibly moving somewhere new that we might not realize we’re settling for a position we ultimately won’t want in the end.
Let’s say you’re relocating to a completely new company for a new position. Study the responsibilities of your role and make sure you ask your employer the right questions. Asking about your daily tasks, who you’ll report to, and how your performance will be measured can help you to better understand if the job is right for you. Now, even if you’re relocating to a new city but for a company you’re familiar with, you should still have questions about any differences in your role. This office could very well run things differently and you should make sure you’re compatible with a new company’s culture.
The advice and experiences of others
Has anyone in your network made a big move for a job before? Better yet, have any of your colleagues made the move to the office you’re considering relocating to? Consider these people a valuable resource while you make your decision. Your network will have insight about the pros and cons of moving and the challenges to expect when making a big move. For example, finding a moving company that works with your schedule and adjusting to a different city’s culture may be harder than you originally thought. Your connections may be able to warn you about this ahead of time and even give you advice on how to best handle it. Plus, they’ll likely be honest with you about the good and bad that comes with the moving process and maybe even your potential role.
Cost of living vs. salary
This is incredibly important! Before deciding to relocate anywhere, no matter how appealing, you should research to find out if the cost of living is within your budget. When living on your own and moving to a new city, the change in real estate and even food prices can be surprising at first. Do your research beforehand about your new city’s living costs. This way, you can gain a better understanding of the potential expenses and savings in a new city. Even if relocating means a promotion, more money doesn’t mean you’re in the clear if cost of living increases too.
Before deciding to officially relocate, consider having a conversation with your contact at HR about a relocation package. You may be able to negotiate a moving expense reimbursement or even a relocation bonus. Research your company’s relocation policy and make sure to discuss anything you think they should cover. Whatever you end up with, make sure you’re happy with it. It’s also worth it to ask and see if your travel arrangements could be made easier. Who knows, you may end up with a package that’s better than you expected!
Flexible start date
Moving is a huge commitment. With that being said, having a flexible start date could make your move a lot less stressful. Before accepting the offer, make sure you’re aware of when you’re expected to start working. Consider the amount of time it will take to pack, travel, find living arrangements, say goodbye to family and friends, and get settled in before starting a new position. Allowing yourself to get accommodated to your new city and home could make a big difference in your stress levels before starting a new job.
Long-term plans to stay
The job could be everything you’ve ever wanted, but it’s still important to make sure you will able to grow professionally and continuing advancing at the company. Likewise, it’s essential to take a look at the numbers and determine if the company is in good standing. Maybe they’re an exciting startup, but aren’t financially secure. If you have access to this information, you should absolutely use it to your advantage to ensure you’ll have a job in six months time.
Now that you’ve considered your company’s future, it’s time to consider your own. Think about what this city has to offer for your happiness. Are there recreational activities, workout opportunities, and fun places to spend your free time when you’re not working? Can you envision yourself being happy in this new city for a few years or is this more of a temporary excursion? It’s not possible to know exactly how you’ll feel in a few year’s time. But if you have an idea that you’ll want to move home in a year or so, relocating to this city right now is probably not the best decision.
Have you had the chance to visit the city in person?
Before taking the final leap, pay a visit to your new city beforehand if you can. During a visit you could end up encountering things you may not have considered before, like how cold it is in the winter or how safe of a city it really is. Make sure to give yourself time to not only visit your potential office, but spend some time in your new city. Look around for activities, classes, or even apartments that would interest you.
If you have the chance to visit your potential office, pay attention to the people around you – can you see yourself working with them? Can you see yourself being happy here?
Relocating for a job is incredibly exciting for a person’s professional and personal life, but it’s smart to review your options before making a final decision. By doing some research on your company and asking the right questions, you should be able to gain an understanding if making the move is worth it for you professionally and personally. This way, when you do make the big move, you’ll have set yourself up for success in both your career and your interests.
This article was written by Lindsey Updyke for RippleMatch. Sign up for RippleMatch to automate your job or internship search. Once you complete a free profile, RippleMatch surfaces great job opportunities and matches you directly with recruiters that want to talk with you.