Moving to a new city for a job is a major decision and commitment. Some people decide to relocate for a better opportunity, while others are just looking for a new experience. However, uprooting your life for a job doesn’t always work out like you planned. Before making any kind of decision, you should think it over carefully and consider every possible outcome.
These are five questions you should ask yourself before deciding to relocate for a job.
1. Will your new job make you happier?
If you’re choosing to move because you think that a change in scenery will make you happier, you should also consider the job itself. If you’re moving for a new job to support your lifestyle but that job will be less enjoyable than the one you currently occupy, then you may be doing yourself a disservice. In an ideal situation, both your new job and place of living will make you happier.
Before deciding whether or not to accept a position with a new company, you should take stock of your current situation. It’s perfectly satisfactory if you decide that it’s the correct decision to move on, but try to list the positives of your current job before making a decision. There may be reasons to stay with your company that you haven’t thought of, such as friendly co-workers or future opportunities for advancement.
2. Will a new city make you happier?
Just as you should consider how happy your new job will make you, it’s also important to think about whether or not a new city can make you happier. Maybe there’s a new job opportunity that seems too good to pass up, but it would require that you leave a community that you love. You have to decide if this new location will be able to at least replicate, if not increase, your current happiness level.
Research has found that simply changing locations will not make you happier. You may think that trading a small town for a big city will somehow make you happier, but that’s not necessarily true. Instead, your happiness depends on the factors that truly impact your environment. Aspects such as your commute time or whether or not you feel a sense of community, irregardless of where you live, are more likely to have a greater impact.
3. Do you plan to stay long-term or short-term?
Deciding to take a job and move to a new city could depend on both your short- and long-term goals. Based on your answers to the previous questions on looking for happiness from your job and place of living, you may decide differently based on your future plans.
If you’re in a spot in your life where you want the next job you take to last for years to come, you’ll want to be absolutely certain in your conviction. On the other hand, if you’re young or just looking for new experiences without making long-term commitments, you may feel better about taking a risk and moving for a new job.
4. Where will you live?
If you’re leaning toward actually making the move and relocating for a job, a major consideration must be your living situation. You should familiarize yourself with the housing market in the new area before deciding on where you want to live. Depending on whether you plan to stay there short-term or long-term, you may also need to think about choosing to buy a house or rent an apartment.
An important factor in your housing decision is the average home value in the area. This is especially important if it is significantly different from where you live now. Will your money stretch further than it already does? Or will you need to downsize? Before browsing for potential places to live, utilize a free home value estimator to help you determine an approximate budget. Once you start actively searching for a new home, be sure to actually visit the sites in person before putting in any kind of offer.
5. What is the cost of living?
On top of figuring out your housing situation before moving for a job, you also need to calculate the cost of living in your new town. If one of the main selling points of your new job is a higher salary, you may want to think again. Salary is relative when compared to the cost of living—factors like food, transportation, taxes, and health care. Sure, maybe you’ll be making more money, but it could be the case that your money doesn’t stretch as far.
A cost of living calculator can easily help you determine the financial feasibility of your new job and city. By inputting where you currently live, where you want to live, and your current salary, you can learn what a comparative salary is in the place where you want to live. If the salary you’re being offered is higher than the comparative salary, the move is financially beneficial. If it’s a lower equivalent than your current salary, you may want to rethink things or try to negotiate with your employer.
Relocating for a job can be a great opportunity, but it could also turn out to be a disappointing mistake. When coming to a decision, make sure you ask yourself plenty of questions and think it over from all angles.