How To Decide Whether To Relocate For a Job
You were offered a new job, a better job. Congratulations!
The only catch … you have to pack up and move.
Whether your new position means you’ll be required to move across the country—or just across town, there are several questions you’ll need to consider.
Will you be moving on your own or will others be moving with you?
The more people who are relocating, the more questions there are to consider. If you’re moving on your own, it may be a fairly easy decision. If you’re moving with your partner, it becomes a little more challenging. And if you’re uprooting an entire family, well, let’s just say, “Things just got a lot more complicated.”
Will your family members have to quit their jobs? How easy will it be for them to find work?
One consideration is how it will affect your family members’ work situation. Is your partner happy in their job? Are they moving up the ranks? Is it a good time for them to pull up stakes? Are you relocating to a place where your family members’ transferable skills will be an asset?
Has your son or daughter just begun university or college but is still living at home?
Whether your grown children are attending school or living at home while working and saving for their own place, how easy will it be for them to either move with you or find another place to live? This could be a wonderful opportunity for them to spread their wings, but it isn’t always easy, and they may not be ready just yet to make it on their own for any number of reasons.
How much lead time is reasonable to sell your home and purchase a new one?
Depending on the housing market and the condition of your home, you may be able to pack up and move next month. However, that may not be the case. How easy it will be to find a new place to live? If you’re moving on your own, you may be willing to rent temporary accommodations that aren’t ideal until you find a more permanent living situation. However, if you are moving with even one other person, they may not be on board with that solution.
Do you have obligations that will be difficult to pass along to someone else?
While work responsibilities consume several hours of your life, they are not your only responsibilities. Perhaps, you have aging parents or grandparents who you care for. Perhaps, you coach soccer or are a lay leader in your church, synagogue, or mosque. Perhaps, you volunteer at a local shelter or fire department. Some responsibilities are easier to set aside than others. And no one except you can determine your non-negotiables.
Will your new job create a lot of stress for you—and by extension, for your family?
Even a more prestigious position and a significant salary increase may cost you more than it benefits you. Be sure you fully understand what will be required of you. Will you have to put in more hours—more hours than you’re willing to dedicate to the job? It’s important to not only consider the specifics of the job but also what life in the new location is like. Is the pace significantly more hectic? Will you be able to find a home close to the amenities that will benefit you and your family? Will you feel safe and at peace in your new community? Moving is a stressor; that’s a given. Is the stress worth it?
Will the move put a strain on your finances? On your physical and/or mental health? On your relationships?
Beyond the stress of moving are other factors, such as your relationships, your health, and your finances. While the new job may pay well, will the company pick up the cost of moving? Will the increase in wages more than cover other increased costs? Do you or one of your family members have health concerns that could worsen if you move? And if you relocate, will you have ready access to the healthcare care you need? Healthy relationships are about compromise, give and take. In the case of moving what’s best for one individual must be weighed against what’s best for the family unit as a whole.
Will your new job get you closer to your long-term goals?
Is this opportunity a step toward your ultimate dreams and aspirations or does it simply seem like a good idea, something it would be foolish to pass up? Remember, each person has to define success for themselves. By and large, society says you’re successful if you have at least a high six-figure income, live in a large home, drive a specific make and model of vehicle, send your kids to ivy league schools, and take exotic vacations. However, that may not be how you define success. You may be perfectly content to pay your bills at the end of each month, go home at the end of your workday and forget about the job until the next morning, and enjoy a backyard barbecue with family and friends. If you deem that success, you may be happier to stay where you are.
When you weigh the pros and cons of taking the new job, the decision may be obvious.
Using a Pro/Con List can be helpful when making important decisions. It’s a good way to visualize what you think and feel about the move. It’s also a good way to allow family members to weigh in. With the list in front of you, you can mull over the decision without getting worked up. Ideally, the best solution will become evident to everyone involved. And, if it doesn’t, you’ve had the opportunity to consider the most reasonable course of action—even if not everyone is 100 percent behind it.