In today’s business climate, employers are exhausting the finite pools of individuals with in-demand skill sets within their local markets and, consequently, are required to look beyond their own backyard when sourcing talent. Relocation is one way companies address this skills shortage.
While relocation can create exciting opportunities – both financially and professionally, especially for those working in fields like technology where the demand for talent is high, there are many factors that need to be considered when deciding whether an opportunity requiring relocation is right for you.
Relocation: Is it the Right Move? Compensation, job responsibilities, corporate culture, potential for advancement – these are the typical data points one looks at when evaluating an opportunity. A role that requires a move demands an increased level of scrutiny as you are determining if a job is a fit for you not only professionally – but also personally.
You will be required to ask, and answer, questions that do not often come into play over the course of a typical job search. The recruiter you work with – whether they be corporate or from an executive search firm – should be upfront and honest, helping you determine whether the opportunity at hand aligns with your career goals AND personal needs.
Your recruiter should not only know the ins and outs of the role and company, but they should also be highly resourceful with information on the community where you would be relocating.
In the event that your recruiter does not have an immediate answer to a question, they should eagerly track one down on your behalf. Really there is no detail too small when it comes to relocation.
Five Important Considerations for Candidates Contemplating Relocation
I receive questions from candidates about roles that require relocation – here are five of the most important considerations for candidates to address:
1. Effect on Family: Uprooting a family or spouse can alter one’s life for better or worse. Each family is different, and therefore, has different needs. In order for a relocation to be successful, it is imperative that the needs of all family members are met:
- Are there ample job opportunities for my spouse/partner?
- I have children:
- Will they be able to adjust to moving?
- How do the school systems rate?
- My child has special needs – will he or she have access to the services he or she needs?
2. Cost of Living: Even if the role which you are considering provides a handsome salary increase, you cannot fully determine the financial benefits until you determine the cost of living:
- Cost of renting or buying a home
- Property taxes
- Sales tax, and state income taxes
- Cost of childcare
- Cost of transportation/parking
3. Relocation Benefits: Many companies provide some form of relocation benefits, it is important to ask questions so you can anticipate the level of assistance you will receive:
- Moving costs
- Temporary housing costs
- Assistance selling your current home
- Assistance in buying a new home or finding a place to rent
4. Lifestyle Changes: Moving to a new city requires the ability to be adaptable. You may need to adjust to a new climate, vernacular, pace of life, style of cuisine, and potentially be prepared to go without some of the comforts of home:
- Access to hobbies / entertainment
5. Work-Life Balance: A well-paid salary is enticing, but work-life balance should be a priority, too. Moving to a new place without any social connections can make relocation difficult. Building a new social network takes time, but there are groups that are able to help:
- Alumni network
- Friends of friends
- Meetup groups / groups centered on hobbies or interests
Once You’ve Decided to Relocate. As important as it is that a recruiter effectively prepare you when making the decision to relocate, it is equally important that a recruiter be there after the move ensuring you have everything you need at work and at home. A good recruiter knows that the relocation process continues even after a candidate accepts the job and makes the move.
I hope you’ve found the above tips helpful. I’d love to hear your thoughts. For anyone who has relocated for a job – what were the best and worst parts of your relocation experience? Looking back, were you adequately prepared for your move?