Many 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.
“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 )