The Wheaton Blog

4 Questions to Consider Before You Relocate for a New Job

February 2, 2016 | Employee Relocation

After weeks of searching, calling, and interviewing, you finally managed to land a new job. You feel excited about the new opportunity, as well as a little nervous about the responsibilities you will have.

But not long after you shake hands and accept the offer, your employer says, “We’re opening a new branch in another state, are you willing to relocate?”

You pause and ask for a few days to think about it. You don’t want to lose the job or disappoint your employer, but you don’t know whether you feel ready to pack and move so quickly.

Before you decide to stay or go, carefully consider the following questions.

1.    Can You Afford the Move?
Sure, your new job offers a pay increase as well as a stable income, but is it enough to cover the costs of a move?

As you plan your future, take a few minutes to calculate your budget. Some states have higher costs of living that could take a significant bite out of your income. Furthermore, you might lose money in an attempt to sell your home in time for the relocation. And you need to anticipate the expense of hiring a professional moving team and account for transportation, temporary housing, and fuel.

If possible, ask your employer about whether the company will cover some, or all, of these relocation costs.

2.    Does Your Family Support the Move?
When you’re young, single, and free to travel, you may have no qualms relocating to another state, or even another country. However, if you have a family, you need to find out their feelings about the move.

Your spouse, for example, might receive a promotion soon and would have to sacrifice his or her career to join you in another state. Or, your teen may have just joined a school sports team and would have to re-take specific classes to graduate. And your younger children may feel uncomfortable making new friends in a new place.

According to a study published in the “Journal of Social and Personality Psychology”, moves disrupt important childhood friendships. The study also noted that children who move frequently often scored lower on well-being and life satisfaction tests and had fewer high-quality relationships as adults.

Make sure you ask your family for advice before making such a life-changing decision in their behalf.

3.    What Are You Leaving Behind?
Although your new move may present new opportunities to grow and discover, your current situation may have a lot to offer you as well. Your parents might live just around the corner, or your best friend from high school still plays video games with you on Saturday nights. You might be a few months away from paying off your mortgage, or you attended the local school and want your children to follow in your footsteps.

When you have to sever these emotional ties or uproot your entire history to relocate, you might not feel as comfortable packing your photos into boxes or selling your favorite furniture.

On the other hand, if you had a negative experience in your current area, or you formed few friendships over the years, you may feel thrilled at the idea of starting fresh.

4.    What Does Your Heart Tell You?
While you could argue for or against job relocation with your brain, your heart may disagree with your arguments, as cliché as that sounds. Your instinct may tell you that you should jump at the chance, or it may nag at you that something doesn’t seem right. Of course, some doubts are normal, but if you face complete dread at the idea, you may want to reconsider the move.

As you consider these questions, don’t forget that though moving represents a big commitment, it doesn’t have to be a permanent decision. If for some reason the new job or new city doesn’t work well for you or your family, you can always move back.

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