How to determine if relocating is the right choice for you

Apr 05, 2016

People move for various reasons, from looking for a place to raise children to simply wanting a change of scenery. However, one of the most common reasons people make a move is for their work. In fact, according to a 2013 study from My Move, nearly one in five of those surveyed listed a new job or a work transfer as one of their reasons for moving. Relocating for work can have a number of benefits, but it's important not to jump into the decision lightly. If you've been asked to relocate by your company, here are a few questions to ask yourself to determine if it's the best choice for you:

Is the new position right for me?

If you've been tagged for relocation by your company, it's most likely because you have the skills and qualities the business needs in the new location. If the relocation would come with a promotion, ask yourself if that new position is what you've been working toward. While a managerial title and higher salary may sound good, the job itself might not be quite what you're looking for. If it's not, but you're still interested in relocating, talk to your company to see if there are any other positions available.

Am I leaving important factors behind?

According to data from Atlas Van Lines, of all of the employees who declined relocation in 2014, 67 percent did so because they had close family members and ties that they weren't willing to leave behind - in fact, that was the No. 1 reason for deciding against relocating. What would you be leaving behind if you moved to a new state or country? This could be personal factors, like friends, family members or a beloved hometown, or, it could be professional factors, like a job you love or a wide network of local professionals that could be beneficial as your career progresses.

Atlas Van Lines graphic about corporate relocation.Close family ties is the No. 1 reason employees declined relocation in 2014.

Can I afford the move? How about the new location?

Moving to a new state or country is an expensive process - everything from hiring professional movers to purchasing a new home adds up quickly. Of course, many companies offer to take care of some or all of these expenses, so it's worth talking to your manager about the relocation packages and incentives the company is willing to provide. Remember that if you're moving to a big city or a foreign country, the cost of living may be much higher as well. Does the relocation come with a higher salary? If not, will you be able to afford living there?

How will this affect my family?

Of course, one of the most important factors to consider is how this move will affect your spouse or partner and children. It will drastically change their lives as well. Does your spouse have a job he or she loves in your current location? How will a move affect your children's social lives and educational options, both now and in the long term? These are all factors you'll want to consider and discuss as a family before making your decision.


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