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.