In these challenging economic times more and more people are finding it necessary to relocate in order to find new jobs or, in many cases, keep their old ones. Being that moving to a new city or province/state is an undertaking that should not be taken lightly by anyone, whether single or with a family. Here are 7 important things to consider before relocating for a job.
1. Does the new job or position come with guarantees for long-term employment to justify a long distance move? If you’re unsure about job security it’s best to get something in writing before you take the position. Although no job contract comes with a 100% guarantee of long term employment, your potential employer should be as forthcoming as possible in this regard. Otherwise the risks of relocating may not outweigh the benefits.
2. Will you be relocating to an area you will enjoy living in? The only way to answer this critical question is to visit the prospective area before accepting the position. If at all possible you should visit the new workplace to get a feel for the environment and meet the people you’ll be working with to get a sense of whether the job is a good fit for you. You should also check out the non-work aspects of the area you’ll be living in to see if the social and recreational opportunities are conducive to your lifestyle. Families should make this fact finding trip a vacation if possible, and the quality of the prospective school systems should be thoroughly explored.
3. Can you afford to live in the new area? Regardless of whether your new job constitutes a raise in pay or not, you need to consider the cost-of-living in the area you’ll be working and living in. Although lifestyle adjustments are a reality for most people in order to cope with the current economy, certain expenses need to be taken into consideration, such as property taxes, the cost of food and the added expense of running a furnace or air conditioner. You also need to factor in the fuel costs of your daily commute and whether or not you can find suitable housing that is both in a desirable area and close to work. But remember to check out potential routes on a weekday morning to get a truer picture of the traffic congestion you might have to deal with in getting to work each day.
4. How will relocating affect friends and family? As anyone who has experienced a major family move during childhood will tell you, children are very resilient and have a great capacity to make new friends. While this may not hold true for adults the fact remains that we all have the capacity to adapt to new surroundings to some degree. However, if the ties and tugs of family and friends are strong enough to necessitate frequent visits to your old hometown, you need to consider whether the time and travel expenses will create an undue hardship on the family budget?
5. Will the change in climate be agreeable to all concerned? While moving from a state like California to a state that goes through dramatic seasonal changes may seem exciting, the fact is that not all of us can adapt to new climates as well as others. Although visiting the snow for an annual ski trip may be enjoyable, shoveling snow through a long winter is something else altogether, especially when you consider that entire new wardrobes would need to be purchased for each family member to accommodate the cold weather. Also, those with asthma or other respiratory problems do not fair as well in California as they do in states with cleaner air. And studies show that those prone to depression do better in sunnier climates. Aside from the emotional affects of moving to an area that may have a negative effect on health, the added costs of health care due to increased doctor visits and medications also need to be taken into account.
6. Who will pay for moving costs? While employers were more willing to help defer some or all of an employee’s moving costs back in the days of a brighter economy, this practice is not nearly as common today. And so the real question is, will the long term benefits of relocating to take a job offset the costs of the move? Here again the importance of determining some degree of job security cannot be overemphasized.
7. Should you rent a truck or hire a moving company? Whether you are single or have a family, the costs of moving can be considerable. Not to mention the physical and mental toll a major move can take. While the do-it-yourself approach might work fine for a short distance move, hiring a professional moving company for a long-distance relocation can be beneficial in helping to make a difficult transition as smooth and safe as possible.