20 October 2021
Relocating is a big life change. Are you ready?
Starting a new job is a nerve-wracking endeavour even under the best of circumstances. Whether you are a seasoned professional considering a promotion or a recent University graduate starting in a new city, it is worth taking the time to determine if moving for a job is the best option for you.
Honestly asking yourself these key questions before making the jump can give you some clarity about the value of a potential move.
Is this job and company a good fit?
As you should with any opportunity, thoroughly research your prospective employer. It would be devastating to uproot your life and move to a new city only to find on your first day on the job that your boss is a tyrant and the company is on its last leg. Before moving, take the time to look into the company’s track record and investigate its growth potential. Even if you are staying with your current employer but transferring to a new location, make sure the local company culture is a good fit.
Will the employer cover relocation expenses?
It’s more important than ever to find out if your new employer will help you cover the cost of picking up and moving. The level of relocation assistance varies widely – with smaller employers less likely to cover it at all – and can include moving expenses, temporary housing, help to sell your current home, sponsored house-hunting trips, or even a lump sum of cash to be used as needed.
Regardless of the offer, it’s important to get it in writing and see if you can negotiate additional coverage on your relocation expenses. Pay close attention to the fine print of your relocation contract. Some relocation agreements require you to repay expenses covered by the employer if you leave the company within a certain timeframe. You need to determine in advance if you are ready to reimburse your employer for the move if you decide to walk away from the job for any reason.
What is the cost of living?
Before moving, compare the cost of living to your current situation and determine if your new salary will adequately cover your expenses. Even the promise of a higher salary shouldn’t automatically sway you to move until you take stock of all of your expenses. If you are relocating to a more expensive area, your money – even if you have more of it – won’t go as far. You may have to decide if you are willing to modify or sacrifice some aspects of your current lifestyle for the new job.
While housing will take the biggest bite out of your budget, you will need to consider other expenses, such as groceries, utilities, transportation, healthcare, and taxes. Always research and, if possible, visit the potential new city to see if it meets your needs and expectations.
How will this impact my family?
It’s necessary to determine if your family is supportive and excited about the potential change or apprehensive about the move. Getting a move to work for everyone is messy and does not always leave all parties feeling like they are getting what they want.
You will need to have sincere conversations with your spouse or partner about how this change will impact their life, career, and relationships. Together, you need to decide whether one of you is willing to deviate from your career trajectory for the other. If you have children, you will also need to consider if the move is in their best interests.