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Should You Move for a Job? 5 Things to Consider

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move for a jobMany people dream of moving to a new city and getting a new job. In fact, that’s a prospect that my family is facing right now. My husband will be interviewing for a new job, in a new city halfway across the country.

We’re pretty sure that moving for the job (if it’s offered to him) is the right move for us. After all, my husband’s job as an adjunct isn’t fulfilling to him, and it doesn’t pay very well. But, just because moving to another city for a new job — and higher pay — is right for us, it doesn’t mean that it’s right for everyone.

Elizabeth Lions, career expert and author of I Quit! Working For You Isn’t Working For Me!, offers 5 items to consider before you pack up and move out:

1. Cost of Living

According to Lions, this is the most important item to consider. “Google cost of living models,” she recommends. “One will pop up and you can put in your city with the one you are moving to.”

This allows you to see the change. I tried this method with our potential new town, and discovered that we only need to make $3,000 more a year in the new town in order to maintain our current quality of life. If your new cost of living is going to outweigh your pay increase, though, you might reconsider the move.

2. Lifestyle

“Where are you moving to?” Lions asks. “Do they have the same activities that you enjoy now where you live?” She points out that your quality of life matters. You want to be able to live the life you want, not feel as though your free time is a drudgery.

One of the things I like about our potential new city is that it is very similar in a lot of ways to our current town. And the differences are what we consider upgrades.

3. Consider Your Partner

Don’t forget about your partner, Lion suggests. Will your partner be able to find work easily? If he or she stays at home, is it possible for him or her to find activities and people to enjoy? If you have a partner, this needs to be a joint decision, even if you are the one making all the money.

Lucky for me, I can do my work from anywhere.

4. Religious/Spiritual Community

This was something that I didn’t give much thought to, since I live in a place where there is, literally, a church of my denomination in every neighborhood. This will require some getting used to. But, since I am also open to new spiritual experiences, a different majority religion won’t bother me much.

“Plugging into a religious community makes a transition easier, as you’ll meet people quickly,” says Lions.

If religion isn’t your thing, though, looking for a strong and vibrant community/service culture and lifestyle can also help. Strong communities with a variety of activities can help you make friends quicker.

5. Schools and Neighborhoods

Thanks to Google Street View, you no longer have to drive through a neighborhood to get an idea of what’s it’s like. “Drop down in Google and ‘see’ where you’d live,” Lions suggests. “Walk down the street. If you see dead cars on people’s lawns, it might not be a good area.”

You can also check the schools. There are sites that rank school districts, and that can give you an idea of which schools are good places to send your kids. If your kids aren’t going to have access to the opportunities you want them to have, perhaps you should rethink the move.

What would you take into account before moving for a job?

(Photo: Ron Henry)

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5 Responses to “Should You Move for a Job? 5 Things to Consider”

  1. Michael says:

    We moved for a job. Not for a higher income (though that accompanied the position), but for a better job. It was hardest on my wife because she stays at home with the kids, so she didn’t have a built-in social network on arrival. But, in addition to being a better job for me, it’s a better place to raise kids, so there were benefits all around.

  2. Michelle says:

    These are all great things to think about. We almost moved for a job offer that I had, but changed our minds.

  3. admiral58 says:

    Find a place where you want to live for a long time, and then find a job there. If you’re life isn’t in order and happy, your work life will suffer

  4. SLS says:

    Yeah, moving for a teaching job (at a college/ university) is pretty much par for the course unless you are ridiculously lucky enough to get a job in the city in which you already live. I am an adjunct right now as well and I would move almost anywhere in the US for a full-time teaching position.

  5. Dennis says:

    Great thoughts about taking a transfer and or getting a new job with a new employer.
    Just consider that my Grandparents moved to America from England for a better opportunity. Better work and long term growth.
    Where is your courage now that things are easier?
    Today the smart prospective employee or transferee should have a written agreement concerning who is responsible for what if…… things go sour(ex. company downsizes, eliminates divisions, company is sold)
    Most corporations will give good transfer perks for Upper management or highly skilled workers. However, you must obtain a good written agreement so that expenses are fully covered. One reference to this is Mortgage coverage while moves take place, move expenses back to original city if company downsizes within 5 years, and former job is given back.
    For those who are not receiving any expense help; you need a good written agreement confirming the position is indeed yours, waving 90 day probations clauses, and keeping a temp residence (small apt) until you know you’ve made the right move. If you move on a verbal agreement is like trusting a “used car salesman” to be offering a “creme puff auto” driven by a little old lady.
    Remember you have the right to write your own agreement. Good companies want talented people…and will still pay for them with salary and benefits.


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