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Job Relocation Advice: The Right Move?

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Relocating

You’ve found the right job. It feels like a great fit, and you’re excited to get started. But what if the job is hundreds, or even thousands, of miles away? If you’re open to the idea of relocating to a new city, state, or country, there are still several points to consider.

The Area

Relocating can be disappointing if you don’t approach the process correctly. You may have loved San Francisco when you visited on vacation years ago, but is it a place you’d want to live?

It can be easily forgotten that you won’t be enjoying the scenery or nightlife quite as often if you’re moving to a new city for work. Remember that the area is now a place where you’ll have to buy groceries, or endure commuter traffic.

Even the weather can be a shock to a new dweller. Someone from Miami might not be 100% happy with a Chicago January. Preview trips are a must to make sure you’ve got the right mindset about your soon-to-be new city. Plan to visit at least once or twice before committing to the move.

The Offer

Many companies do offer relocation packages. Often, these include rent and a stipend for up to 1 month after your arrival, but sometimes they offer nothing. If it is your own decision to relocate, you might not get anything to compensate for the time, effort, and funds necessary for a big move. Will the job alone be enough to support a major relocation? Take a close look at finances to ensure a smooth process.

You’ll need to take stock of a variety of things: Groceries, which can be more expensive in a bigger city than you’re used to; rent, which can vary wildly depending on location; parking, which can be anything from free to hundreds of dollars a month; or insurance, which can vary depending on geography.

In the case of lack of a compensation package, relocation companies can be a logical step. They can be a safe bet for someone interested in purchasing a house as opposed to renting, and offer buy-out options if the job does not work out.

The Pros

Employers in certain parts of the country are still struggling to fill highly skilled positions, and will offer compensation for qualified candidates. A commited manager will most likely strive to keep you in the position once you’ve filled it.

In the same vein, a new city can mean a whole new outlook. Hopefully, you’ve done the homework on your new hometown and have found it a desirable place to live. If you’ve found the job offer enticing enough to move, chances are you’ll be content with both your work and home lives.

The Cons

Do you have a spouse to think about? If so, it can be a challenge to uproot two lives instead of just one. He or she will have to devote just as much time as you to finding a new job and helping with the move. In the case of children, timing must be right with regards to the school year.

Other Options

More and more companies are open to the concept of telecommuting. If you’ve found the right job in another city, you don’t necessarily need to move. Ask about remote-work options during the application and interview process. If you’re a great candidate who has demonstrated a good work ethic in the past, you may be able to work out a plan of action that doesn’t require you to relocate.

Relocation isn’t feasible in every case. Casting the widest net possible in the job market can help you find a job quickly and more easily than if you limit yourself to neighborhood boundaries. If you can deal with the change, you’ll be amazed at how many opportunities will surface.

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Pamela Skillings

Pamela Skillings is co-founder of Big Interview. As an interview coach, she has helped her clients land dream jobs at companies including Google, Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan Chase. She also has more than 15 years of experience training and advising managers at organizations from American Express to the City of New York. She is an adjunct professor at New York University and an instructor at the American Management Association.

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