The prospect of relocating for a job can be at once frightening, exciting and confusing. One of the main struggles candidates face is determining whether moving for a job will be worth the time, effort, costs and other unknown factors associated with a relocation. If you’re not sure where to start, consider the following when determining whether to move for a new job opportunity.

Professional Advancement
Relocating is a major life change, so you should make sure that your new position offers you a promising professional move. Instead of accepting a role at a similar level, aim for a salary bump, a higher-level position, an industry change or a more fulfilling position. Review your career goals and ask yourself if the new job provides you with better opportunities that will make the move worthwhile.

Cost of Living
Before you celebrate a potential salary increase, think about all the costs associated with your new living situation. You should also calculate the difference between your current living costs and the cost of living in your prospective new location. Create a comprehensive list that includes housing costs, state taxes, commuting expenses, the price of gas and other common expenses. Consider any change in living costs and determine whether a higher salary actually translates to a higher standard of living.

Moving Expenses
Find out immediately whether your company will cover your moving costs. If you’ll be paying out of pocket for relocation expenses, keep in mind that a cross-country (or international) move can be very expensive. Before you formally accept the job offer, it’s worth the effort to negotiate a relocation package that will offset some or all of the costs.

Your Personal Life
Moving for job opportunities may seem like a professional decision, but as a managing partner who has placed numerous candidates in great positions, I know that a job relocation can have a major impact on a candidate’s personal life. A relocation may require you to move away from family members, sell your home, ask your spouse to find a new job, or suddenly adjust to speaking a new language and living in an unfamiliar country. Keep in mind that a move can also come with some great opportunities and benefits, like a stronger school system, a more favorable climate, or better transportation options. Consider the changes you and your family members will have to make and discuss what the professional opportunity will mean for your personal lives.

If you’ve never visited the new location, try to do so before making your final decision. Talk with current residents of the city or town and ask your new employer to put you in touch with other employees who live there. Any information you can gather will give you a better sense of whether you’ll be happy with your prospective future home.

What do you consider when deciding whether to move for a job? Let us know in the comments below.


Stephen Browning

Having moved to another state in the last few years, my advice would be to make sure you have thought through all the possibilities and opportunities involved. Finances have to be the #1 priority as nothing is going to be possible if you are dead broke. Are you thinking of both your personal AND professional life in the new location? How about the commute? Relocation should never be impulsive, but a mindful and purposeful decision made with in inevitable and necessary “Plan B” and “Plan C” should things not go as initially planned.

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