When Does Relocation Make Sense?

Posted by Larry Brantley on January 09, 2009

Relocation is a BIG issue in today’s workplace.Many people who haven’t considered it as a viable option in the past now see it as the only recourse to surviving in their career path.There is a lot to consider.Take the time to ask the questions, consider all options and go for it when it makes sense.

First- Is the target market I would be relocating to a better market, i.e. – more job openings, reasonable cost of living, practical housing options, and realistic property/income taxes?If you are moving from a smaller work community to a larger one your job options increase, salaries increase and alternative jobs (in the event things don’t work out) are more plentiful.It you are moving from a large city to a smaller one there may be less competition for your individual skills and the tax advantages may equate a pay increase in just the savings you get.

Second- How solid is my personal and professional network there?Some people are very capable at life without personal interaction of other people.I’m not one of them.You need to ask, “Do I have friends or family close to this market?” What types of professional organizations are there and how large are they? What type of social entertainment is around:  clubs, churches, and restaurants? Whatever is important to you in your daily life should be considered.

Third- Is the relocation expense covered by the hiring company?It may take thousands of dollars to move your home from point A to point B.Do you have the financial resources to shell out those funds?If the company is paying, how is it to be handled? Do you submit bids, receipts after you move, or do they have preferred vendors with negotiated rates for transporting belongings?What is the process? ASK BEFORE ACCEPTING ANY OFFER!Many firms today will have you sign a separate promissory document upon your hire that if you leave prior to a certain time, you will be liable to repay all or part of the relocation expense.

The excuse of “We just bought a home and can’t go anywhere at this time” may not hold water today.If the house goes into foreclosure because you can’t pay the bill, you may have no choice.KEEP ALL OPTIONS OPEN!You are not only more desirable by many employers by being willing to relocate, but the job options you will have to consider will grow immensely.

If you have a specific relocation story (good or bad) that you would like to share it, please offer your comments here so others can benefit from the experience.

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