By Alicia Geigel
Uloop, November 19, 2018 —
For some of us adults, a huge goal is to move away from home and relocate for a job. Sure, living in your hometown isn’t necessarily bad, but there comes a point where you may want to make new memories, experience new cultures and diversity, and expand your career opportunities in a fresh, new place.
Career choices and job opportunities play a huge role in the decision to move away and relocate for a job. Jacquelyn Smith of Forbes writes, “According to MyMove.com’s Consumer Insights Study, which surveyed 8,000 consumers, including 6,300 who had either moved homes within the last 12 months or are planning to move within the next 12 months, a new job or transfer is consistently among the top five reasons that people move. About half of them (49%) relocated to another state or out of the country.”
Moving for a job is not easy and there are a lot of factors to take into consideration when contemplating such a big decision. This doesn’t mean it is unachievable or impossible, however! Are you currently living in somewhere you don’t want to and have dreams of living in a new place? Are you questioning whether or not it’s smart to relocate for a job? Are you in need of some tips to help guide you on this big life transition? Check out my comprehensive guide on deciding if moving for a job is worth it!
Do’s and Don’ts
Before evaluating whether or not you should move for a job, there are some do’s and don’ts to consider. Prior to entertaining the idea of relocating for your new job, let’s look over some influencing factors that can impact your decision to move away from home and into a foreign area.
Move for Increased Wages and Diverse Culture:
In today’s job market, one of the biggest factors potential employees consider when looking into a new job is the salary/hourly wage. In some situations, companies and agencies have higher wages and salaries than those in your current area, which is a great incentive to want to relocate for a job.
If your current job isn’t paying nearly as much as you would like, let alone what you can survive on while another position out of state is offering double, that’s a great reason to go for it! Additionally, diversified culture and community is another reason to relocate. If your current location is bland, with the same people and cultures, relocating for your job can also benefit you by giving you a diverse culture and community to live in and experience!
Move for Entrepreneurial Opportunities/Supportive Business City:
Every town and city is different from markets to work ethics. Some towns, like the one I come from, is full of either blue-collar workers or people with college degrees. Some places are more labor-oriented, while others are more creative and embrace entrepreneurial opportunities.
Jon Simmons, a writer for Monster writes, “A Bentley University survey revealed that 66% of millennials want to start their own business. But to do so, they want to live somewhere that can sustain and support that business.“ If you aren’t into the rigidity of school or think outside the box, consider relocating to a town or city that is more supportive of creativity, one that would be better for your future entrepreneurial ideas!
Move for Adventure/Risk Taking:
Sometimes moving for a job is less about the technicalities or formalities and more about just taking a risk and going out of your traditional comfort zone. If you are someone who has been in the same area for a few years, has an adventurous side and is seeking something new, consider relocating! Starting fresh in a new area can be fun, exciting and the beginning of a new adventure.
Maybe the best job isn’t waiting for you, perhaps you’re not looking for any special kind of opportunity but instead, you’re just looking to experience something different, fresh and stimulating — there’s nothing wrong with that! You don’t want to regret things down the line that you wish you’d tried so go for it now while you can!
Move for a Slight Pay Increase:
One of the “do’s” stated previously was to move for increased wages, which is a solid reason to relocate. However, when considering to move for a job, you don’t want to move for a job that is going to pay slightly more than the one you currently have. Why? Because you have to consider the cost of moving, both literal and metaphorical, and if that slight increase in wages is worth the time, energy and possible hassle of moving away from home and somewhere completely new.
There are plenty of factors to consider when looking at a salary for your new job, like cost of living, which will be addressed in the later paragraphs. Ultimately, remember that it’s not just about how much more money you’re making at this new job, it’s about a lot more than that!
Move Laterally in your Career:
It’s important to remember to consider the type of position you will be accepting when you move away from home. Will this new position be similar in type and rank in comparison to the one you have at home?
If it is, Jon Simmons writes, “Neil Bondre, founder of The Interview Professional, an interview coaching company in San Francisco, advises millennials against accepting positions that are similar in rank in new cities, even if they’re unhappy with their current situation. Instead, he suggests making an upgrade or moving in the same city if the position is comparable compensation.”
Move for Someone Else:
We all have probably heard plenty of horror stories of people moving away solely for their romantic partner and for nothing else. It’s hard to go against this urge when you’re in a relationship, but do not move just for one person.
Moving away is a huge decision, which can take an emotional and physical toll on you. That’s not to say that moving for this person isn’t worth all of that, but you’ll want to have extra reasoning and prospects in mind to make the decision more worth it and give yourself a sense of stability.
Is Moving for a Job Worth It? Here’s What to Consider
1. Don’t Get Caught Up in the ‘Dream Job’ Hype:
When we’re young, we all want to secure that job of our dreams and are willing to do just about whatever it takes to get it. Sometimes this means taking a chance and exploring your options instead of having a decided occupation of your choice picked out.
This is the time to take risks and test the waters of different career options that may be of interest to you, so don’t worry about moving to a new place and not having it all figured out yet. Just make sure that you have the support and financial ability to do so!
2. Weigh the Financial Costs:
Perhaps one of the most important things to evaluate before you relocate for a job is whether or not you are financially stable enough to do so. This may seem obvious, but for some who act on impulse, this can sometimes be easily overlooked.
There are a lot of costs when moving in general, but when you factor in moving out of state or hundreds of miles away, the costs increase significantly. While thinking about moving for a job, consider the following:
Cost of living in Home City vs New Location:
Moving to a new location that is significantly more than your current location but doesn’t pay enough to cover the difference isn’t a smart choice.
Ruth Mayhew of Chron.com suggests to research the cost of living in your current location versus your desired one and use a cost of living index. She notes, “A cost of living index measures affordability for geographic regions, with 100.0 for the baseline. Anything greater than or less than 100.0 means that food, housing, health care, utilities and transportation are higher or lower, respectively.”
Current Salary to Salary Offer in New Location:
This goes hand in hand with one of the “don’ts” from earlier, which was moving for a slight pay increase. While brainstorming and making your decision, be sure to compare your current salary to your new salary offer and include the cost of living in the new location to see if the difference is worth it.
CNN Money has a cost of living calculator to make this step even easier for you! Shane Jones of the Muse notes that a cost of living calculator is, “useful in determining whether you’ll have a comparable net income after you factor in common expenses such as groceries, housing, and utilities.”
3. Weight the Quality-of-Life Factors:
When considering to relocate for a new job, one of the most important factors to consider besides the obvious financial costs is the quality of life you’ll be having. Some things to evaluate are:
Living in a Big City vs Small City:
What is your preferred living area? Do you like a more urban, busy setting or do you prefer a more quiet, laid back area? When considering to relocate for a job, the location is an important factor to consider. You don’t want to have to work and live in a place that doesn’t sit well with you.
Accessible Public Transit:
If you are considering to move to an urban or even suburban area for your job, making sure you have access to public transit is very important. Whether this public transit is the bus, subway, the train, or even driving, it’s necessary to know how you’re going to travel to work from home and around the town on off days.
Moving for a job is not solely about the job, as you will not be working 24 full hours a day, 7 days a week. Besides work, you need things to do in your free time to relax and have fun! When considering moving for a job, make sure that the city/town has an entertainment atmosphere and community that fits you and your interests.
4. Evaluate Your Career Options:
Reviewing your career dreams, goals, and options is a key part in deciding whether or not you want to move for a job. Is it worth moving for the job or can you blossom in your career at your current location? Some things to ask yourself are:
Am I on the Right Path?
As you evaluate whether or not to move for a job, you should map out your career goals. What are you looking to accomplish in your current position at your job? Are you looking to progress in any way? Is your current position or current location holding you back from those goals?
Consider looking to establish a foundation that can be built upon in a job, with upward mobilization and long-term success as the ultimate goal. Stagnant working positions, with no chance of advancement, whether in your current location or away from home is a red flag.
Is the location dense with jobs that fit the industry I’m in?
Sometimes our current location doesn’t match the job market or industry that we love. For instance, if you’re more of an artsy person, you’ll probably want to be in an urban area rather than a rural one, because the industries in each area type are vastly different.
Trying to move away from home and relocate for a job in today’s economy is not easy. There are a lot of things to evaluate and consider, such as the financial costs, the quality of life factors, your career options, and the moving process in general.
If you are considering moving for a job, just remember to weigh all of your options carefully and make the best decision for your mind, heart and wallet. Albert Einstein once said, “anyone who has never made a mistake, has never tried anything new.” It is never too late to start! As always, good luck.