How To Decide Whether You Should Move For a Job

Updated June 24, 2022

Not everyone lives in an industry hub, and sometimes jobs in specific fields require you to make a significant move. Before deciding how to respond to a job offer in a new city, state or country, think about what you are looking for in the long term and consider your overarching career goals. Assessing the job and its potential impact on your personal life is crucial. In this article, we examine the various factors to consider to help you decide whether you should move for a job.

When deciding to move for a job is easy

If you are just starting out in your field or industry and you live by yourself, the choice to relocate may feel easy to make. Without a partner or children to consider, few barriers would prohibit a swift move, especially if doing so would actually bring you closer to friends, family members or a community you value. However, not all decisions in life are so simple. There are a variety of factors to consider, each with a priority level that is unique to you and your situation.

Related: How to Move Forward After Being Laid Off

8 factors to consider when deciding whether you should move for a job

Take a look at this list of eight things to think about when determining if relocating for a job opportunity is right for you:

Career growth

Career trajectory is crucial to consider when determining whether a physical relocation is a good idea. You want your career to move in an upward direction. A move might be worth it if the position offers an opportunity for immediate or potential growth. A significant salary increase, sign-on incentives, a promotion or access to more connections in your line of work are all excellent reasons to consider relocating. If the move is lateral and your position and salary are the same, you may not want to change cities.

Personal satisfaction

Finding a feeling of personal satisfaction from your career will ensure engagement and productivity. This is good for your well-being and can help you succeed. Under the right circumstances, a career that offers a true feeling of happiness and fulfillment may be reason enough to relocate.

The specifics of personal satisfaction are unique to each person, but there are some indicators that might help you learn whether or not a company or position may lead you to a sense of fulfillment. Here are some specific things to look for:

  • The company emphasizes a strong work-life balance and community involvement.

  • Current employees note strong relationships with colleagues and superiors.

  • Current employees report feeling appreciated for their work.

Opportunity for growth within the company

Unless the position you have been offered is exactly what you want to be doing for the remainder of your career, it is valuable to think about the future. A job offer in a company with limited upward mobility might not be the right fit for you. Conversely, if multiple senior roles exist within the company, moving for this job could prove to be very beneficial in reaching your overarching goals.

Valuable location

Similarly, the location itself can also be helpful in your career development. Many careers have epicenters in certain cities. For example, many tech industry developments happen in Silicon Valley, California, and the performing arts thrive in New York City. In instances like these, moving to a city that can offer you multiple options for your future career is a wise choice.

Salary and benefits

A large salary increase is undoubtedly a positive incentive for taking a position in a new location. When evaluating a job offer, one thing to keep in mind is the cost of living in the city or town you will be moving to. A minimal salary increase in a place with a significantly lower cost of living could positively impact your quality of life. Additionally, a job offer that includes retirement and health benefits for your family offers security and peace of mind.

Related: 6 Tips For Your Next Salary Negotiation

The cost of moving

While no law requires companies to pay for the extra costs associated with moving, some companies offer job relocation packages as an added perk. Each employer is different—some may pay for temporary housing while you settle in, and others might pay for the cost of flights and moving trucks. If you haven't heard anything about this from your potential employer, it may be worth asking the human resources department about moving assistance.

Effect on personal relationships

Accepting a job offer in a new city or even a new country can be exciting and fun. The move will offer new opportunities and new experiences, and these things will impact you and the other people in your life. Keep these relationships in mind when making your final decision:

  • Partner or spouse: If you are in a committed relationship, will this person be able to move with you? If so, will this move help or hinder their career and personal life? Will they feel happy relocating? It's important to take your partner's wishes and goals into consideration when you're thinking about moving. If your partner is happy and willing, then moving could be a positive step in your overall journey together.

  • Children: If you have children, consider their ages and personalities when deciding what is best for them. How might they react to a big change? Moving during a period of natural transition may make it easier for your child to adapt. For example, moving from elementary school to middle school will be less stressful than moving in the middle of their senior year. Brainstorm ways to keep up with interpersonal connections they have made, and do some research on the education and social activities that your child will have access to if you move. Ultimately, the pros of a higher-paying job with comprehensive health insurance may prove to be best for your family.

  • Extended family: Do you provide care for an elderly member of your family? Or perhaps you rely on a retired family member for childcare. Think about how moving would impact your day-to-day life. Also, try to have an honest conversation about how regularly you like to see your family. If you need to see your parents for dinner every Sunday night, a move to a faraway city might not contribute to your overall happiness. However, if you feel that holiday visits are enough, relocating for a new job might fit your overall lifestyle.

  • Friendships: Having strong friendships is a core part of having a happy and healthy life. If moving will take you away from your friends, think about ways to maintain those relationships despite the distance. Virtual get-togethers and occasional trips can help you feel close to your friends. Also, it's worthwhile to look up some activities you can get involved in when you move. This will help you make new friends and broaden your social prospects.

Related: How to Change Careers

Other available options

Often, job offers come with possibilities that you may not know about. Permanently relocating to the city where the company is based might be the only option available. However, asking about other solutions could help you make a better overall decision regarding your new job opportunity. Here are some options the company might offer:

  • Trial period: If a hiring manager is highly interested in having you join the team, you may benefit from asking about taking on a temporary role first. Doing this will help you determine whether or not moving is right for you.

  • Other locations: If you like the company that is offering you a new job but aren't as enthusiastic about your reporting office's location, do some research. If the company has multiple locations, one of those places may appeal to you more. Asking your potential employer if you can perform your job duties at a different location could help you find happiness when relocating for a new career.

  • Remote work: Due to changes in family and household dynamics, remote work has become an increasingly popular perk that some employers offer. Especially due to recent events, many companies are happy to allow their employees to work from home. Asking about the possibility of remote work may eliminate the stress of moving altogether.

Explore more articles

  • Do Board Members Get Paid? (Plus How Much They Make)
  • How To Become a COO (Chief Operating Officer) in 5 Steps
  • 14 Pre-Pharmacy Majors (And Tips on How To Choose One)
  • How To Become a Nursing Technician
  • 15 Medical Jobs for College Students
  • 15 Jobs for Professionals With a Master's in Philosophy
  • How To Become a District Attorney
  • How To Work Abroad as a Nurse in 5 Steps: A Complete Guide
  • How To Get an Environmental Health and Safety Certification
  • FAQ: How Long Does It Take To Become a Pilates Instructor?
  • Mental Health Counselor vs. Psychologist: How They Differ
  • What Does HR Status Progress Mean? (With Types)