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Originally Posted On: Should You Relocate for Your Career? – Money Q&A (moneyqanda.com)
When you’re looking for ways to grow your career, relocating can sometimes be a possibility. It might be an opportunity that your current employer has offered you, a job posting you’ve spotted while browsing, or perhaps someone who has headhunted you.
Whatever the reason for considering a relocation, you have to think carefully about whether it’s a smart move for you, and maybe for your family too. It’s not always an easy decision to make, even though it can sometimes be the obvious choice.
There’s a lot to think about, so where do you start with making the big decision? Here are some of the key things to consider before you decide whether to make the move.
Will There Be New Opportunities?
One of the main reasons for relocating for work, for most people, is going to be the opportunities that it could open up in your career. Perhaps in your current position, there isn’t really anywhere else for you to go unless you consider a relocation.
If there’s already a regional manager of your area but you’re offered the chance to be regional manager of another area, it could be your one chance to stay with your current employer and keep moving up the ranks. Or if you think that you can’t go any further with your existing employer, or don’t want to, there could be a lack of other opportunities in your current location.
If you’re thinking about relocating, consider what it’s going to mean not just for the next step in your career but in the long-term too. If you later want to develop your skills further and perhaps seek a promotion, will the opportunities be there? Would you have to relocate again to keep climbing the ranks?
Of course, not all opportunities involve getting promoted. You might just be looking for a chance to take on new challenges or develop your skills and knowledge while remaining in the same role.
Will It Improve Your Happiness?
Relocating might seem like the Hail Mary that you’re looking for. Maybe you’re miserable in your current role, and the chance to relocate seems like an opportunity to start over again and do something different.
But it’s important to think about whether relocating really is going to affect your happiness. What is the new role, new employer, or new workplace going to change about your time at work? Will you feel less stress in your day-to-day job? Are you anticipating enjoying the work more?
Of course, your work isn’t the only thing that might affect your happiness if you relocate. You also need to consider the fact that you might be moving away from friends and family.
On the other hand, there are opportunities to make new friends and perhaps find like-minded people who are not as easy to find in your current location. Other things could affect your happiness too, from the climate and weather to how long your commute will be.
The Cost Of Relocating
It would be difficult to make a plan to relocate without thinking about how much it’s going to cost. You have to consider the initial cost of the move, but there are also the ongoing costs of living in your new location.
Planning a relocation could mean moving a fair distance, which might be costly if you’re planning to move all of your existing possessions. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s unaffordable or not worth the cost.
When you’re considering the move, it’s smart to get some quotes from movers. As well as looking at general moving companies, you might also want to take a look at relocation services for your car or other specialist items. Using a site like https://carsrelo.com/what-we-ship/car/, you can get an instant quote for moving your car and browse which services are available.
You might also want to use a specialist service for moving valuable or heavy things, such as pianos, pool tables, or expensive art. Whatever you want to move, you can usually find cheaper and more expensive options.
The alternative to moving your things is not to move them. You have a couple of options here, including selling your possessions or leaving everything in storage. Storing your stuff can be suitable if you’re planning a temporary move. You can then rent a furnished home or buy new furniture when you arrive at your new location.
The other costs to think about are the ongoing costs of living. If you want to consider this, you should try working up a mock budget for your potential new location.
Estimate the costs that you might be facing and compare them against your current costs. Don’t forget to consider any increase or decrease in income too. Perhaps the cost of living is higher, but you will also be earning a lot more.
Think About Lifestyle Changes
The lifestyle changes that might come from relocation are worth considering too. They could be for the better, but it’s also possible that they could negatively affect your life. You might benefit from warmer weather, which means you could spend a lot more time outdoors.
Or you could end up with a longer commute to work, which could affect your health and happiness. The best way to work out how your lifestyle might be affected is to research the area of your potential location thoroughly.
Consider everything from what kind of social life you can have to the local schools, opportunities for sports and physical activity, restaurants and bars, green spaces, and other things outside of work that can influence your life. Even the political leanings of the area could make a difference to your lifestyle.
Moving With Your Family
Relocating for work when you’re single or don’t have any children is much easier than moving with your family. If you do have a family, it’s not as simple as it being easier when your children are younger, either.
If your children are very young, it can be a way to help you meet new people, but it could equally be a reason that you or your partner end up feeling isolated. With older children, you might need to get them on board with the move or deal with the feelings that are brought up by moving away from what they know.
If you’re married or have a partner, the first thing that you should do is make sure that you talk about the relocation a lot. Moving for your job means that they will have to find a job in your new location too.
Or, if they don’t work, they will want opportunities to connect with others and make new friends, rather than be stuck at home on their own. If you have children, you will also have to consider what it means for them. There could be benefits, such as better schools and a healthier lifestyle, but it can also be difficult removing them from a familiar place and routine.
Make sure to talk to your children but avoid doing it too much. While some parents might want to give their kids the final say, it may be best not to put too much pressure on them.
Temporary Or Permanent?
Relocating for work can be a permanent decision, but it’s also possible for it to be a temporary move. You might take on a new role with a view to staying for a year or two, or maybe just a few months.
On the other hand, you might be planning to stay for longer and make it your permanent home. If you are thinking about a temporary move, will you be returning to your current location once you’re done, or are you thinking about moving onto somewhere completely new?
Do It For The Money?
Of course, you can’t forget about what you’re going to be paid if you take a new job elsewhere. It’s essential to think about when you’re comparing the cost of living in the new location versus where you are now, as well as whether moving is going to improve your lifestyle and future.
But if you’re being offered a higher salary, is it worth making the move simply because you’re going to be paid more? If your life is going to improve in other ways, higher pay is going to be another benefit that you can enjoy. But if your quality of life is going to decrease, it’s likely only going to be a good idea to move for the short-term, at best.
What If It’s A Mistake?
While you want it all to work out, there is a chance that you won’t like your new job or new location. So before you move, it’s worth considering an escape plan.
How might you get out and go back home if you decide that it’s really not for you, and you want your old life back? You might never need to use it, but it’s good to know it’s there.
Relocating could be a fantastic career move, but it’s a good idea to consider it from all angles before making a decision.