Things to consider before committing to a new job that requires a relocation
Guest post by Ann Lloyd
If you’re carrying student loan debt after you leave university, you may be willing to accept any job offer that comes your way, even if it means moving to another city or country. Before you make a huge change like this, though, you might want to consider exactly what you could be getting yourself into.
Moving to any new city is a big decision that will have a great impact on you both personally and financially. It can mean a wealth of opportunities and new experiences — most of them good, if you’ve done things with foresight and planning. Here are five things to consider before committing to a new job that requires a relocation.
#1 | What city will you be moving to?
With the tech industry continuously growing around the world, you might find job opportunities globally, depending on your skills and specialties. If you’ve snagged a job in a new city, do some research: Can you see yourself living there? Investigate factors like climate, average seasonal temperatures, distance from home to work, neighbourhood options, commutes and traffic, crime rates, and how the city would fit into your overall lifestyle.
And pay close attention to the cost of living; be sure you can afford it. For example: As we know, London is one of the most expensive cities in the world, where a flat near the city centre can cost upward of £1,200 per month and generally requires a sizable deposit before renting.
Remember, you’ll need to be able to eat and pay your other bills, too. Even if you’re moving to an expensive city, you can always look to the cheaper neighbourhoods to find affordable housing. Where you’ll be living truly does matter. Even though you’ve graduated from turning in assignments, checking out cities is one research task you’ll want to tackle.
#2 | Will you get relocation assistance?
Making a big move is a bundle of stress. There is the time involved, the fear of the unknown, so many details to juggle, and, of course, the expense. Getting employer-sponsored relocation assistance can be a huge help. If you’re not familiar with relocation perks, these often include some of the following:
- Assistance with finding housing
- Relocation costs
- Packing and unpacking
- Transfer of automobiles
- Helping with temporary living expenses
- Spousal job support
- Selling a current home or paying costs to break a current lease
- Miscellaneous expenses
The good news is that many of today’s employers are willing to help with relocation — about 25% of them. Others may not have relocation policies in place but are willing to add them in as a part of the negotiation process when accepting a job, so be sure to ask what they’ll offer you.
#3 | How do you plan to move?
Moving is hard work, whether you hire a moving service or do it yourself. If you’re planning to make the physical move on your own, and you’re staying in town or in country, see if family members or friends can help. You can throw a pizza bash once you’ve reached your new place. Many young professionals take this route, but it’s not feasible if you’re moving far away.
If you’re travelling a considerable distance (especially if it’s overseas), it’s likely you’ll either need to make great sacrifices with most of your belongings, or hire a moving company. In the case of the latter, see whether your new company contracts or partners with one, or if you’ll have to find movers, yourself. If you do need to manage this part on your own, do your homework first.
- See if the mover can fit you in with the timeline you need. Long-distance movers often place you wherever you’ll fit on their schedule, which won’t necessarily align with yours.
- Ask about all fees. Don’t get stuck with hidden fees when you arrive.
- Be sure the movers are properly licenced and insured before signing on the dotted line.
- Know which moving scams or red flags to look out for. Sadly, moving scams are all too common.
Either way, if you decide a move is for you, make travel arrangements as early as possible to start getting things settled. It’s not always a fast process.
#4 | How will you prepare?
Moving your entire life, along with acquiring new things you’ll need, is a lot of work. If you’re moving within a few hours away, you may make several road trips. You might even have to find temporary housing until your new place becomes available.
Finding a good storage facility on either end of your move to safely stash your stuff can simplify any complications you face. Knowing your belongings are securely stored will alleviate stress so you can focus on other important tasks. You can always sort through your possessions later on.
Another consideration is the physical stress that a move can put on the human body. Long, strenuous hours of lifting and carrying combined with forgetting to eat or drink water can result in a medical emergency. If you’re getting help from friends or family, keep the physical toll in mind. You might consider getting some safety or CPR training under your belt first — but definitely make sure you have plenty of water and a first-aid kit at the ready.
#5 | Do you have a network in the new city?
Do you know anyone, either personally or professionally, in the city where you plan to move? If so, start reaching out to those individuals now. If you’re going in knowing no one, it’s a good idea to start establishing new networks. Otherwise, join local forums, find events through Meetup or similar services, connect with like-minded professionals on LinkedIn, and attend some local events, if possible. If you’re going in with a company already in place, consider having promotional items like customised pens on hand that can help your new contacts remember you.
Moving to a new city or country is a big deal. Be sure to carefully evaluate your new situation and make certain you can handle it before making the commitment. You don’t want to go through the stress and expense of a move, only to find out you hate your job and/or your new city. It’s one thing to restart the job search, but it’s another entirely if you’re doing it from far away in a strange place. Being proactive before the move will ensure that you’re making the right decision for yourself, your career, and your life.
About Anna Lloyd
Ann works for Student Savings Guide