Career Insider: Relocating for a job
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Career Insider: Relocating for a job

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Photo provided by Green Shoot Media

Photo provided by Green Shoot Media

When the perfect job is not around the corner or even a few miles away, but in another part of the country — or even the world — there’s much to consider.

Most people who entertain relocating for a new job do so because they’re ready to pull up stakes and start fresh in a new location.

However, when an offer comes, many might not have factored in all the effects of a big move, such as the impact on a spouse or children or leaving friends and a familiar environment.

Decisions

According to a recent article in the Harvard Business Review examining relocating for a job, there are three factors that need to come together in order to successfully make the decision to move: the value of the opportunity, the outlook for long-term employment and growth and the impact on the family.

If you’re single and not currently in a relationship, the latter part of this equation is not an issue. But for those with working spouses and children, the decision can become much more difficult.

The big picture

It’s often advised to sit down with pad and paper and weigh pros and cons when making a big decision. Making a move for a new job, however, presents a broader scale of implications that don’t often surface in many pro/con lists.

While the position may improve your finances and offer advancement and other exciting career benefits, if it’s located in a city or town that lacks the lifestyle you desire chances are you’ll eventually be disappointed.

It pays at this juncture to consider the environment and how adaptable you are or are willing to become to achieve all-around satisfaction.

It goes without saying that a family needs to make this decision jointly, with the understanding that the new job and location will be a marked improvement for all.

Asking yourself, your partner and family if the new location will be the best choice for the long term puts career choices in the proper perspective.

The upsides

While relocating for a new job can bring many challenges and take getting used to, don’t discount the positive impacts.

Taking a job in a new city or town will almost surely benefit your skills and experience. Meeting new people and discovering new ideas can greatly improve your worth and value to an employer.

Every move presents a series of trade-offs, pluses and minuses in both your work and lifestyle. So it’s important to recognize your choice must weigh heavily in favor of the move in order to overcome any downsides.

It’s equally important to maintain your current relationships and business network, a factor made much easier thanks to modern technology.

Next steps

Because moving for the job will likely be accompanied by a promotion, financial rewards and other benefits, it may be tempting to keep from looking ahead too far. But knowing where a new position in a new location fits into your long term career plan can make relocation choices much easier.

For example, if you outgrow your current position or hope to seek other opportunities, will your new environment offer those possibilities?

Because career choices tend to be haphazard for many, most often influenced by the allure of money or stature, it’s important to take stock of your career, your trajectory and where you want to be five or 10 years down the road.

Don't overthink it

When all your homework, discussions and advice-seeking are done, some still find themselves paralyzed. This results in a choice made by indecision.

In these instances it helps to maintain perspective and focus on the value of the benefits. If the move and job don’t work out, nothing lasts forever. If you adapted to this move, chances are you can quickly correct course.

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