Given a choice, many people looking for a new job would prefer not to relocate. It’s easier, cheaper, and less disruptive to stay put. But don’t be too quick to blow off the recruiter who calls with an opportunity in another location – at least, hear her out. It may not be necessary to uproot your family, but, even if it is, that may not be a bad thing. Whether relocation works for you depends on many factors. Here are five reasons to be open to making a move.
- Take a long view on your career. What is the next step after this job? Will it help your career or harm it? Sometimes it is worth taking a risk to give your career a boost. A higher-level job in a smaller company can help you jump to the next level to set you up for the bigger job in a larger company a little further down the road. Or you may like the smaller company more than you expected and decide to stay on to grow with the company.
- Relocation does not have to be forever. Most companies these days are neither looking for lifetime loyalty from you nor willing to give it to you. A three-to-five-year commitment may be all they’re asking – and all they’re willing to give. So, the move does not have to be permanent. Maybe you and your family would enjoy – and benefit from – a few years in a new state or country. If you are not sure whether you want to move permanently, don’t be in a hurry to sell up – renting is always an option, at least in the short term.
- You may not have to relocate. First, hear the recruiter out to find out if the position fits your interests and skills. The further you go through the selection process the greater will be your interest in the role and the company’s interest in you. This will give you increased leverage to negotiate, among other factors, whether you need to relocate or can do the job remotely. One of the few silver linings on the COVID cloud has been the recognition that many jobs can be done remotely some or all the time, reducing relocation and commercial real estate expenses.
- 50 percent of something is better than 100 percent of nothing. If you’re in a specialized career field where opportunities are not found everywhere, your choice may be to relocate and work or stay put and stay unemployed. As disruptive as relocation may be to you and your family, you need to weigh that against the disruption caused by limited or no income.
- Positivity counts for a lot. Shortly after my family and I relocated internationally, we met a family that had relocated within the same state. They were having more trouble adjusting to the move than we were – the reason: the parents did not want to move and it rubbed off on the kids. If you decide to relocate, involve the family in the decision-making and be committed to the move – otherwise you and your family will be miserable.
Clearly, relocation is not for everyone at every stage of life. But it should not be dismissed out of hand, either. Consider the opportunity you have been offered and look at the whole picture. Maybe, just maybe, it might work out after all.Career Advice | Job Search