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How to Decide Whether to Relocate for Work

Your employer has asked you to consider relocating for work to a different part of the country. Maybe it’s that promotion you’ve been working years to earn. Maybe your branch is being dissolved. And maybe this decision is an easy “yes,” but it most likely requires careful consideration. Weigh all of the following job relocation questions below to allow yourself to feel confident it’s the right decision for you—and your family.

What’s the Financial Impact?

When considering a move of this magnitude, money always plays a role. Often, especially with a promotion, a relocation package is offered to ease the financial burden of the move. And sometimes, it’s enough. But there can be steep costs, often unforeseen, with moving across the country. And yes, relocating because of a promotion usually also means a pretty decent raise. But how does the raise compare to the Cost of Living associated with the area to which you are moving? For instance, if you are moving from a mid-size town in Indiana to Los Angeles, the cost of living in LA may be higher than your raise. In other words, your raise may not actually end up being much of a raise.

But salary and a relocation package aren’t the only pieces of financial compensation to consider. Your whole benefits package should be taken into account, including how much of your health or other insurance premiums will be paid by the company, if they will contribute to a retirement plan, or if bonuses, allowances, or other options will be paid.

Evaluate the totality of the financial package compared to the new area where you will be living.

Is Relocating Feasible?

For many working adults, relocating is simply not feasible, regardless of the financial impact. Do you have a child in their final year or years of high school? What would uprooting do to them? If you’re married and your spouse works, would they be able to keep or easily replace their job? Do you have a family you’re looking after and take care of in your current city? These are major factors that may contribute to the overall feasibility of your relocation situation.

Consider your current obligations, and the lives of those that matter to you most, as you weigh your relocation offer.

Is Staying an Option?

As the world has discovered during the COVID-19 pandemic, working remotely is a very real and doable solution for many positions and companies. As you consider the reasons to relocate for work, learn if the job can be done from your current location. Perhaps working remotely with virtual meetings is feasible. Or perhaps traveling on a regular basis to touch base in the new city is sufficient. Either of these options could save the company money upfront on the relocation package. And if moving isn’t feasible for the previously noted reasons, maybe remote working is a compromise to still get you that promotion you’ve worked tirelessly to achieve.

What Does the Move Mean for Your Career?

Does this relocation do for your career what you want it to? Don’t just consider the short term promotion. Really think if this puts you in the position you want to be in for what’s next. Is this the right stepping stone for your 5-year plan, your 10-year goal, or your retirement aspirations? If you aren’t sure if the job and city aren’t the right fit for your long-term plans, you could end up with a very costly situation if you need to relocate again within a year or two of moving, especially if you buy a house or switch companies.

How Would Relocating Impact the Family?

If you’re a parent considering a relocation, or you anticipate expanding your family to include children soon, check out the kid-friendliness of your new city and neighborhood as well as the schools. Not all schools and school systems are built alike. If possible, move to a neighborhood with an excellent public school system. Consider renting a month-to-month place for the first few months in your new city, so if you do have to move across town, you can do so with minimal effort. Visit schools with your spouse and talk to parents in the area. You know your child best. Ask questions that pertain to what your child needs to thrive. And if public schools aren’t the right fit, seek out a private school with the right environment for your family. Your raise may offset the perceived cost of tuition. And setting your child up with a good primary education could be a factor in setting them up for a successful adulthood.

What’s the Housing Situation?

Where will you live when you relocate? Your new home is one of the biggest factors to consider when relocating. Assuming you were able to easily sell your current house or get out of your lease, you’ll need someplace to land. Will you buy or rent? How far from work do you want to live? Do you enjoy a long commute with podcasts, audiobooks, or music? Or does sitting in traffic make your blood boil? Big commutes can cut into your weekly free time. Likewise, excessive rent or mortgage payments can cripple you financially. Neighborhood safety, entertainment accessibility, and seasonal weather are all other factors to consider when assessing your potential living situation. You might have the best job in the world, but if your home causes undue stress, it may not be worth it. That being said, most cities across the country offer great living options for people from all walks of life. Do your research, and you’ll likely find something that fits your needs.

How Do I Relocate to Another State for Work?

You’ve carefully considered all the other questions and decided that, yes, this relocation is the right choice. Congratulations! Now what? Relocating can be a challenge, but you don’t have to tackle every step by yourself.

Hire movers to pack up your house, safely put it into a moving truck, drive it across the country, and safely drop it off in your new place. And if you received a relocation package, that’s exactly what it’s for. (If it was not offered, consider negotiating and ask your employer for moving expenses.).

When moving, there’s one other big thing you should consider: your car. Some people are passionate about driving their own vehicle to their new home city. But what happens if you have more vehicles than drivers? (This is common if you choose to drive a moving van yourself.) You’re already hiring professionals to move your other possessions safely—consider doing the same for your vehicle by hiring a trusted car shipping company. Your car is one of the most expensive things you own. Trust a highly-rated auto shipping company with your investment. For ideas on transporting your car, here’s 10 Great Car Shipping Tips to get you started. And feel free to call Direct Express at 800-600-3750 with further questions as you prepare your relocation for work.

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