So, you’re considering relocating for a job. Whether your current employer wants to send you off to a new location or you’re debating accepting an opportunity with a brand new company, you’re weighing your options when it comes to packing up your life and heading off to uncharted territory.
Let’s face it—moving for a job comes with its fair share of excitement and challenges. And, identifying the pros and cons of relocation can leave you tossing and turning at night. To move, or not to move? That really is the question.
Of course, a major thing to consider when debating relocation is the actual job itself. But, what are some other questions you should you mull over before making the move? Here are four questions to ask yourself.
1. Will You Be Making More Money? (Or, Will it Go Further?)
Yes, money is definitely something to consider when deciding whether or not to move for professional reasons. Does the position you’re considering offer a sizeable bump in pay? Or, is it more of a lateral move when it comes to salary? While career happiness isn’t all about the money, being compensated well contributes to a feeling of appreciation and respect. Personally, I’ve never heard anybody complain about a raise.
But, even if that new salary looks great, don’t neglect to consider the bigger picture. Perhaps this new city has a significantly higher cost of living, or your new transportation needs will take a bite out of your monthly expenses. Or, maybe you’ll be down to one income while your partner searches for work. Make sure to factor all of those considerations in (plus any costs of moving that the company won’t cover) before just going after a bigger paycheck.
2. Will This Push Your Career Forward?
If you’re constantly looking for ways to advance your career and gain more prestige, a move might be necessary in order to make it happen.
So, when contemplating relocation, do thorough research about the position’s duties and requirements to determine if it’s a step up in your career. And, don’t neglect to do some digging to find out more about the city itself. Is it a hotbed for opportunities within your specific field? Does the area have a large network of industry peers you could connect with? Are there tons of outlets for continued professional development? While it can be exciting to be the only person in your field in a city, it can also be scary when you’re ready to make a move. So, don’t just think about this step, think about the next one as well.
3. Will This Improve Your Life?
You may love your current job. But, if your commute is always a complete nightmare or you’re far away from your family, those stresses can have a big impact on your daily attitude and outlook.
It’s important to ask yourself if this move will greatly improve your life—even outside of the office. Maybe the public transportation is better and your commute will be a little less horrible. Or, you’ll be closer to your friends and family. Or, perhaps the climate really appeals to you and the city boasts a lot more organic dining options. Whatever it is, make sure that you evaluate all of the things that are important to you—and not just the benefits of the position.
In addition, if you have a family, you also need to think about how a move will affect your partner or your kids. Will their lives be drastically different? Will it be for better or for worse? Make sure to give consideration to everyone who will be packing their bags.
4. Will This Get You Out of Your Rut?
You could make the walk to your favorite lunch spot with your eyes closed (and, you don’t even need to order—they already know what you’re getting). You’re tired of the people you see at networking events, and honestly, your local bar just bores you now. And, if you have to see the same people at the gym again, you might literally scream. You’re itching for some new surroundings and an energizing change of scenery.
Maybe you just need some new friends, new hobbies, or a new side gig to shake things up. But if you’ve really grown tired of your current city (or even outgrown it altogether), relocating could be just what you need to give you a fresh perspective and some brand new opportunities. In addition to the switch in surroundings, you’ll also get to collaborate with new co-workers, meet new neighbors, and get an abundance of new lunch options.
Determining whether or not to move for a job can be a challenge, and you may be wrestling over what choice is the right one for you. But, asking yourself these four questions should give you lots to think about. Now, if only they’d pack your boxes for you!
Photo of highway courtesy of Shutterstock.
Kat is a Midwest-based freelance writer, covering topics related to careers, productivity, and the freelance life. In addition to The Muse, she's a contributor all over the web and dishes out research-backed advice for places like Atlassian, Trello, Toggl, Wrike, The Everygirl, FlexJobs, and more. She's also an Employment Advisor at a local college, and loves helping students prepare to thrive in careers (and lives!) they love. When she manages to escape from behind her computer screen, she's usually babying her two rescue mutts or continuing her search for the perfect taco. Say hi on Twitter @kat_boogaard or check out her website.More from this Author