Sometimes, there's no better way to move up the ladder in your career than to move to a different city! Relocating for work gives you the opportunity to expand your professional network, learn from local innovators and small businesses, and grow as a person. It's your chance to spread your wings and to prove yourself.
But, this isn't the easiest move to make.
There are all kinds of things to consider when relocating for a job - like how well you're going to like your new home, office, and coworkers. You have to think about the culture of the area you're moving to and the implications this career move has on your personal life, too.
If you're not sure how to prepare yourself for this transition, the best thing you can do is some self-reflection. Take a moment to consider all sides of this decision before you jump into a move.
Here are 8 important questions to ask yourself to be sure you're ready for this change!
1. Do I Know Where I Want to Live?
It's one thing to say that you want to live in New York City, or Los Angeles, or Seattle. It's another to have your mind set on a specific borough/neighborhood in such big cities.
You should develop a good understanding of how the city is laid out and what each neighborhood is like before you make your move. This will ensure that you feel right at home not just in your new job, but also in your place of residence and the people you're surrounded by.
It's worth taking a visit to the place you're relocating to if you can. If the job relocation is happening too quickly for that, at least reach out to people you know in the area and do some online research about where to live.
2. What's the Cost of Living in This New Area?
The cost of living is one of the most important details you need to research before you make your move. This has a huge impact on your quality of life. It's not worth being in the heart of downtown or sharing a small apartment in a trendy neighborhood if you're living paycheck to paycheck.
Instead, try to match your new home with your income. This will make the move much less stressful and help you in the transition process as you settle in.
Plus, the first place you move into in a new city doesn't have to be permanent! You can relocate within the city after your first 6 months or your first year. But when you're relocating for work, your main objective should be financial responsibility.
3. Have I Negotiated Everything I Needed To?
Maybe the salary you're being offered is great, so you're not too worried about the cost of living somewhere. Maybe you're just looking to get out of the city you're in right now, so you don't mind where you end up as long as you're starting a new chapter.
Either way, there's much more to the move and your new job to think about.
Go back over the offer a company has made you and see what kind of details are included as far as benefits, paid time off and sick days, and the responsibilities you'll have. Consider the room for growth available to you and the culture that you're about to be a part of.
Are you getting the starting salary you were hoping for? Do you have medical, dental, and eye coverage? Would you like the opportunity to work from home once or twice a week?
These are all worth bringing up with your new employer. Don't wait until it's your first day in the new office to talk about them, though. Discuss all of these things ahead of time so there are no surprises once you make your move.
4. What's My Relocation Package Like?
Of all the things to discuss with your new employer, your relocation package is arguably the most important. This helps you understand how much you can spend on your move between what you pay out of pocket and what your new employer covers.
Some companies will offer you a reimbursement for certain relocation costs while others will give you a relocation package up front. You should note, though, that you'll probably still have additional expenses to cover on your own. Be prepared for this as you figure out all the logistics of your move.
5. How Much Time Do I Need to Pack?
Just as it's smart to budget your money when relocating for a new job, you also have to budget your time. Whether you have 2 months until your first day or only 2 weeks, there's a lot to do and you have to figure out how to take care of it all.
Between packing up your current home, finding a new one, saying goodbye, and getting settled in, you can't afford to waste any time. It's best if you start the packing process sooner rather than later, and maybe even start shipping boxes to your new city before you actually move.
6. What Can I Leave Behind?
Keep in mind that not everything from your old home has to follow you to your new home. Remember, part of the reason for relocating for work is to get a fresh start.
What better way to do that than to finally buy a new couch or to change your design style as a whole? This does mean you have more to do once you get to your new city, but it helps make the move there much easier.
7. Should I Hire Movers?
Speaking of making a move easier, seriously consider hiring movers. This is one of the smartest investments you can make. It allows you to fly directly to your new home instead of having to drive cross-country or across a few state lines with all of your stuff.
Movers can also assist you with packing if you need it. This allows you to focus on other aspects of moving out like cleaning your apartment and saying goodbye to loved ones. If you're really short on time, it may be worth researching more info about other moving services like apartment cleaning and furniture storage.
8. What Does This Mean for My Family?
The final thing to ask yourself if you're thinking about relocating for work is the implications it will have on your family. This applies to both people who have a spouse and children and to single people who live close to their relatives.
Moving away for work means your husband/wife now also needs to look for a new job and that your children will be the new kid at school. It's a complete uprooting of your entire life, not just a shift in your career.
This isn't a bad thing, and it can actually turn out amazingly well for everyone you care about. Just be sure that you're all on the same page about this transition.
Relocating for Work Made Simple
At the end of the day, you have to focus on your reason for relocating for work. Whether it's that this is your chance to live in a city you love or the opportunity of a lifetime for your career, the main "why" behind the move will make the stress of it all more manageable.
There is a lot to do and think about. But, when you put it in perspective of what you're searching for in this move, it all becomes much simpler.
If you're sure this is what you want but you're still looking for the opportunity that will make it happen, click here for tips on how to find jobs you want to relocate for.