If you were offered a job in another city or your current employer asked you to relocate, would you do it? Some employees would say yes instantly; others might struggle with the uncertainty that a move to another city could bring.
Before accepting a job offer requiring you to relocate based on your emotions, over-excitement or complete terror, there are a few things you should consider. Aside from thinking about this job move in terms of pros and cons, evaluate how this job aligns with your personal definition of success, how it matches your personality and talents, and what financial impact the job and the move will have on your family. Ordinarily relocating for a job includes higher pay and career advancement or other perks like being closer to your family or a region with less unemployment. Before taking a new job, get specific on the possibility of failure and then do your due diligence. No matter how stable and exciting a new offer looks, job security is never guaranteed and you’ll still need a backup plan.
Once you have examined this new job offer from every angle, it’s time to look at how this move is going to affect you and your family. Even the best relocation scenarios will cause stress for your spouse and kids. Take a look at this new city and what it has to offer. Will your spouse be able to find new employment? If you have children, what are the schools like and how will they integrate in this new environment? What is the climate like? Some cities have extended and harsh winters or may be subject to tropical storms. Are you willing to endure these situations?
Every city has its own unique flavor, which you can’t experience by just going on a weekend trip. If possible, spend a week or so in the area before making your final decision. Take a look at the shopping, local attractions, housing market and overall pace of life. Drive around and see what your commute to work will be like and research the city’s demographics and crime rates to make sure you’ll feel safe and comfortable there.
Another thing to consider is whether the organization has shown its commitment to you by assisting with relocation costs. This may not always happen, but if it does it’s a good sign.
If you don’t have a specific job offer yet but are considering relocating because the job search in your current area has been unsuccessful, you should at least be assured that your employment prospects will be better, not worse, in the new location. Ultimately, accepting a job in a new city is a very personal decision. Taking the time to consider the long-term implications of a move rather than jumping at an exciting offer will help you choose the path that brings you the most professional and personal success.