The United States is gradually working its way out of a recession, and this concept is readily apparent as new job opportunities continue to increase for people in most professions. Most financial experts anticipate continued expansion, based on key factors like GDP and controlled unemployment.
But while job opportunities are increasing nationally, a great opportunity might mean relocating – some cases, an opportunity could mean relocating between states. This article will provide some suggestions on approaching a potential relocation, offering four questions that professionals may want to ask themselves prior to accepting a new job.
When relocation becomes an option, it’s most important for a person to be honest with her or himself about their personal risk tolerance. Moving to a new city, even with a promising position waiting, is a huge leap for a lot of people – particularly if someone has never done a significant move.
Some people love to test the outer limits of their personal comfort zone, and happily skip from city-to-city or even country-to-country. For some people, the next adventure is just around the corner, and a new opportunity in a new city has the tantalizing appeal of a wrapped present.On the other end of the spectrum, there are people who find change disruptive or even unsettling. It’s perfectly fine that some people value practicality and realize that the grass is not always greener.
Moreover, relocation to a new city is going to be both expensive and time-consuming in most cases. The thought of relocation is going to make some people queasy, no matter how great the opportunity.
The important thing is for a person to assess her or his own risk tolerance, and act accordingly. Risk-averse types shouldn’t necessarily pressure themselves into challenges that are going to cause crippling anxiety. People with higher risk-tolerance can consider relocation for a job more seriously, but also shouldn’t jump into something just because it’s new.
Also, bear in mind that moving for a job will mean adjusting to a potentially unfamiliar city. Again, this can energize some people while turning others into a nervous wreck. Professionals should ask themselves a few honest questions about their personal risk tolerance before delving deep into a relocation opportunity.
Before moving to a new city, it would be wise to determine both the average cost of living and the average cost of goods. This could have a huge bearing on the overall value of the job opportunity.
San Francisco is one of the most expensive cities in the United States, with both the cost of living and cost of goods being among the absolute top rates in the U.S. Consequently, most other places – possibly excluding New York City and other areas in California – are going to seem like relative bargains by comparison. But it’s always smart to look before you leap.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a wealth of statistics on U.S. regional cost of living data. Other things that professionals may want to weigh include the local housing market, local property taxes, local schools, unemployment rates, and any other pieces of pertinent information.
Balancing work and life is a continuous juggling act, and an important question to ask before considering relocation is to determine if a given city supports a person’s lifestyle.
For example, if a person is an avid skier, there may be no amount of money that would make relocating to Florida worth his or her while. Conversely, if someone absolutely loves the beach, a great job in Chicago loses much of its appeal.
It’s crucial for a professional to be honest with her or himself prior to accepting a new job and undertaking the subsequent challenges that come with relocation. If a job opportunity is terrific but the city or the region is a poor fit, then in many cases the lifestyle trade-off may not be worth it, unless the position is temporary or relatively short-term.
The other scenario that might present itself is when an employer offers an opportunity with a lesser salary than what a professional is presently making, but in an area of the country with a lower cost of living or greater lifestyle appeal.
$50,000 in Omaha, Nebraska goes a lot further than $50,000 in San Francisco, and while this is an extreme example, job-seekers and professionals should always be cognizant of a job’s salary relative to a particular area of the country.
Employee tools such as Glassdoor’s Salary Calculator allow job-seekers to easily determine how a given position stacks up compared to similar positions in the same city or region.
Some people may also be willing to take less money to live in a particular city or near family. Work and life considerations are always a bit of a high-wire act. But before consenting to relocation, a professional should ask how happy a city will make him or her outside of work hours.
If an employer really values a person, they will likely make concessions to get the employee signed-and-delivered. These include offering to pay for or reimburse an employee for moving expenses.
Some employers will offer a generous relocation package as part of their offer. But in other instances, an employee will need to negotiate. Before a professional begins negotiating, he or she should first ask which additional expense they’re likely to incur by relocating. These include increased mortgage payment or higher costs for local private schools.
Employees should do due diligence by investigating what similar companies might offer. They can also speak with contacts already working for the company, if possible. There’s no harm in asking as many questions as possible from numerous sources.
Many companies cover the following expenses:
This will largely vary based on the company and a professional’s position. But these are expenses that good companies will typically cover.
Regardless of how things unfold, it’s always a good idea for a professional to get everything in writing. Additionally, employees should know that they can generally deduct work-related moving expenses on their annual tax return. However, a person would obviously be off the hook for the upfront moving costs.
People considering relocation may want to check out Blueground. They offer elegant, fully furnished apartments in many major metro hubs, including New York City, Boston, Athens, and Istanbul. Blueground takes much of the hassle out of relocation. It lets professionals focus on their new positions and not on housing issues.
People who work remote can also consider some moving strategies that will be helpful in the relocation process.