There will come a time when you’re presented with an opportunity of a lifetime – be it a great new job or a lucrative promotion within your current company. Your work and talent have been recognized, and you are being given greater responsibilities. But there’s a catch – the job upgrade is in another city, and you would have to relocate. And this is where the mental struggle begins. While the promotion is enticing and well-deserved, you wonder whether changing cities and starting from scratch in a new neighborhood is worth it or not.
Moving locally is quite a challenge, so moving to another town and possibly a state can seem intimidating and scary at first. So before you start packing or say no to your boss, weigh the pros and cons of relocating for a job. After having an objective outlook on the whole situation, you will likely decide to be happy.
Let’s look at the bright side. You have been offered a job that challenges you, helps you grow, and pays you well. Sure, it’s in another city, but it is an attractive offer you are tempted to accept. Here are some reasons why accepting the relocation works in your favor.
1.You are advancing your career: This relocation is a great opportunity to show your superiors that you are invested in your career and company. This will show you are willing to accept new challenges and do what it takes to pursue what you are passionate about.
2. Relocation assistance provided by the employer: Often, when companies ask employees to relocate for their job, they assist by covering the cost of moving or delivering professional moving assistance that they pay for. This makes your life a lot easier and saves you the cost of paying for the move yourself, which is a huge expense.
3. Upgrade to a higher quality of life: A job promotion means higher pay. This means you can afford a better house, neighborhood, possible schooling for children, and personal hobbies and activities. You enjoy your life a little more extravagantly and get more legroom in your personal life.
4. The opportunity for personal growth: This is also a great chance for you to grow as a person. Meeting new chances earlier in life always toughens you up in all the right ways, helps you learn from your mistakes, allows you to discover your strengths and weaknesses. While challenges are hard to overcome, the challenges themselves are what make you stronger, wiser, and even more capable.
5. Expanded social circle: It always helps to widen your social network in a new city, such that you make new personal and professional connections. This helps if you want to settle down in the new city with your family because your new friends will help you settle in faster and keep you company while you adjust.
While you are thinking about how moving to another city might be a good idea, staying grounded and considering the downsides of relocating for a job is important. There is a reason that you are instinctively apprehensive about undertaking such a huge transition. So take a look at the disadvantages of moving before making your final decision.
1. Difficult, stressful, and expensive undertaking: Uprooting your entire existence in a city you have known for years, where everything familiar to you will be left behind, is an overwhelming choice. It will require a lot of emotional upheavals, let alone physical exertion. Also, moving anywhere in the US is an expensive process. So if your company is not footing the moving bill, you will pay out of pocket, which could be a huge problem if you are short on funds.
2. Losing out on proximity of family: Moving to another city automatically distances you and, in time, disconnects you from a family you don’t live with. Regular phone calls become weekend catch-ups which eventually turn into monthly emails and forgotten birthdays. It’s unfortunate, but it takes a lot of effort to maintain personal connections from across the states.
3. Moving with a partner may be tricky: You will have to consider their needs if you live with a partner. And while the move may be an upgrade for you, it may not be the same for them, and they may not want to move. Since you are in a relationship where you make joint decisions, this decision may be tough for both.
4. Growing distance between good friends: Moving to a new city expands your social circle and makes it harder to stay in touch with your old friends in the old neighborhood. You miss out on hanging out, parties, birthdays, special events, and all those conversations that can go on for hours. You may make new friends, but there’s nothing like your bond with old friends. This might cause you to disconnect from them over time.
5. Challenges of a new environment: You may take time to adjust to the new environment, which you might not be used to. If you lived in a suburb before and moved to the heart of a busy, populous city, you’re in for quite a culture shock.
Now that you have weighed the pros and cons of relocating, you might be confused and unsure of which way to go. This is understandable because no matter what lies ahead, getting to that new stage in your life is a daunting task, even for the thick-skinned and brave-hearted. Making a decision doesn’t have to be that hard and stressful. Here are some things to consider that might help you make your final decision with less tension and pressure on your head.
1. Think big picture: Ask yourself what it is you would like to achieve in the long run. Does it involve chasing your ambitions and coexisting with a little discomfort along the way to get where you want to? Or does it involve staying put at the level where you are and being content with what you have, seeking stability over change, security in the familiar over possible growth?
2. Get expert advice: Ask people you consider mentors, career guidance counselors, a therapist or family member, colleagues who went through the same process and relocated for their jobs, and any other people you would consider taking advice from. While opinions may differ, you may find new perspectives and gain clarity on what you desire for your life.
3. Discuss it with your partner or family: If the relocation directly affects another person in your life, like a partner or family member or your children, you have to address the situation by keeping them in mind. They will also have to uproot their lives because you are getting relocated. They may not have the same professional opportunities or quality schooling systems they used to, which might be a qualitative downgrade for them initially. You need to consider what they want to do and then reach a collective decision.
4. Consider how it affects your personal development: Ask yourself if this relocation will benefit your personal growth or not. On the one hand, a new challenge may be just what you need to shake the status quo and help you evolve. But on the other hand, it may be detrimental to your personal growth if you have other priorities you want to give importance to. Neither decision is bad, so take your time to consider it.
5. Ask for a trial period: If you are unsure and want to get an idea of what life might be like if you did relocate for the job, you could request your employer for a temporary relocation to try the new city out for a while. You could relocate for a couple of weeks or months, or go back and forth throughout the week, whatever works for you and the company. This way, you will ease into the new environment, build a rapport with new colleagues and get a whiff of the lifestyle you could lead in the new city.
It would be best if you didn’t have to overthink your decision. There are enough facts to help you decide what is best for your personal and professional evolutionary journey. While change is scary and not trying to embrace it makes you stagnant, you already know what you want in your gut. Just weigh the pros and cons, and make the decision you feel will improve your life.
Is it worth moving for a job?
If the job you are being offered or promoted to is an upgrade in terms of work, responsibilities, salary, and perks, it is worth considering moving for your job. Also, depending on where you are being transferred, the relocation may open up even greater horizons to seek out, personally and professionally.
Should I move or get a job first?
If you have the luxury of choosing when you can move – before you have a job or after you secure a job – then the obvious and most practical choice would be to secure the job first before the move because this will help you settle in a lot faster in your new city, not to mention cover your daily expenses and lifestyle. This is especially important if you are moving with your family and children, in which case moving to a new city without a job is a big risk.
How much money should I save to move without a job?
If you have to relocate without being able to secure a job first, you need to make sure you have enough funds to subsist on if you do not land a new well-paying job right away after you move in. The rule of thumb is, if you are saving up to live in a new city of residence and will not have an income for the foreseeable future (a few months), then you should save up at least six months’ worth of rent and extra expenses so that you can rest easy and live decently. At the same time, you are looking for a good job and networking like crazy.
Can I move for a job and still look for other jobs?
Yes, you can move for a job even if you are open to other job opportunities in the new city. Many people do this – they relocate first and then start their job search anew in the new town. It all depends on your personal preferences, timeframe, and the number of job opportunities you are eyeing in the new city.
Is it a good idea to move for a job in a different field?
It is always a good idea to try something new, but it is essential to weigh all the pros and cons before making any decisions. If you are planning to move to a new city for a job in a different field, you will have to make many adjustments – learning the ropes, getting used to the new environment, and so on. However, if you are up for the challenge and think you can do it, go for it! The experience could be gratifying.
Is it better to move for a job or start my own business?
There is no easy answer when it comes to this question. It depends on your personal and professional goals and the risks you are willing to take. If you feel adventurous and want to try something new, starting your own business might be the way to go. However, if you’re going to play it safe and want the security of a steady job with a reputable company, then moving for a job might be the better option.
Alex Sherr is the founder of My Long Distance Movers, a blog that provides moving information and resources for people who are relocating. He has more than two decades of experience in the moving and relocation industry, and he is passionate about helping people relocate smoothly and efficiently. When he's not writing or blogging, Alex enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.