Should You Relocate For a Job?

Packing a Suitcase

Whether you’re looking to expand your career prospects, you’ve just accepted your dream job or just looking for a change of pace, chances are you’ve already begun planning for the exciting-yet-agonizing process of moving to another city.

Let’s face it, moving is something we love to hate. Making arrangements, like switching off the cable and packing boxes are tough enough—even tougher deciding whether moving to another city for a job is even worth it. After all, relocating for a job can either be the savviest decision you can make for your career. Or it could be an epic disaster—that is if you don’t do your homework first. So here’s a few questions you should ask yourself before loading the U-Haul.

Am I at the right place in my life for such a change?

If you’re single and in your 20s, congratulations. This should be a relatively easy decision to make! There’s no other time in your life that will allow you the flexibility of relocating on your own volition.

Of course, the same can’t be as easily said if you’re in a serious relationship or married with kids. Would your partner be on board with relocating? If so, what would their career prospects be in the new city? How do you think your kids will adjust to a new school and neighborhood? Be certain to weigh all of these factors to ensure the move will be a positive one for your family, and not one that could potentially create serious problems in the long run.

How is the job market in my new city looking?

Assuming you’ve decided to make the move and received the green light from your family (if applicable), it’s time to get the 411 on your new stomping grounds. Research the area’s job market, paying close attention job growth projections and quarterly market performance. While this may seem unnecessary if you’ve actually received a job offer, it helps to know the economic landscape in case you’d like to switch career paths or companies in the future.

For example, South Florida has continued to see exponential recovery from the economic crash of 2009. In fact, Miami’s job market grew 2.3 percent from September 2014 to September 2015—versus 1.9 percent nationally—according to a September 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics report.

Can I afford the move?

This question is all-encompassing as it applies to many factors for consideration. If you’re relocating to a new city without a job lined up, how long can you support yourself until you find employment? If you’ve been offered a job, will the company pay the costs associated with moving? Is the company’s salary offer align with the city’s standard cost of living? Furthermore, is your salary comparable to others working in your industry with your level of experience? It’s possible to find comprehensive salary guides that serve as excellent resources for determining how much you should be getting paid by industry, job title, and even city.

Will I like my surroundings?

If it’s possible, visit your prospective city before you relocate. Take a few days off from work to explore the city’s neighborhoods and all that it has to offer. Schedule an apartment tour or get in touch with a reputable real estate agent to take a look at some properties. If you’re considering the Miami area, now is the time to take advantage of Miami’s housing market as real estate insiders expect a strong market for 2016, according to a recent article from the Miami Herald. And don’t forget to research the best places to grab a drink, see a live concert or go shopping. You need to find ways to fill in the gaps between your 9 to 5, after all!

Still unsure whether a job relocation is right for you? Above all else, don’t neglect to listen to your gut. It all comes down to your career goals, aspirations, and where you see yourself in the future. It’s difficult to make the decision, but who knows—your calling could be just a few state borders away!

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