You may have received a job offer from another state. Or maybe you’ve maxed out the job opportunities in your area and you’re looking for a change. But making a long-distance move is a huge commitment…should you relocate?
Moving can be a stressful and overwhelming experience, but nevertheless, we tend to move at some of the most exciting times of our lives: buying a first house, getting married, having children (more bedrooms!), and taking a new job.
You may choose to move across town or (far more daunting) to another state. In fact, recent Census information has shown that nearly half of all between-state moves are for job-related reasons. But that doesn’t mean you should make your decision lightly. Sometimes the decision is not even yours and you are forced into a corporate move.
When deciding whether or not to move to another state, there are a number of factors to consider. Think carefully and do your research before deciding if (or where) you should move.
Think Outside the Paycheck
The job offer comes with an awfully tempting paycheck, but that doesn’t mean your new salary will be enough to keep your family at their current lifestyle. Do some research about the area’s cost of living; factor in food costs, gas, transportation (such as toll roads or subway fare), and taxes. (Florida is one of the few states without a state income tax, so leaving the Sunshine State may come with a not-so-sunny surprise come April.) For instance, $100,000 a year in Manhattan doesn’t go nearly as far as $50,000 a year in Orlando.
Take a close look at the real estate market, too. After selling your old home, will you be able to purchase a similar place or will you have to downsize? If your living situation will end up taking a drastic downturn, you may decide you don’t want to move after all.
Do the Math
When the job offer comes in, confirm with your new employer exactly what you expect in terms of pay, relocation assistance, benefits, etc. Since you’re relying on these promises to justify the move, your potential employer shouldn’t take any issue with you being cautious.
And speaking of relocation assistance, make sure you get solid estimates on the cost of a long-distance move (including transportation for your family and pets) before taking the job. The relocation assistance package might be so paltry that you’ll basically be paying for the move out-of-pocket. This added expense will have to be factored into your budget.
While you’re at it, don’t forget to research the future of the company as well as your position. You want to make sure that the job is worth the time and hassle should you relocate for it.
Try It Out
Fortunately, there are a few ways to “try out” the move before you accept. If you’re worried that you may dislike the new job (but feel just as nervous about rejecting the offer), you can always rent out your old house while renting a new house or apartment where the job is located. You’ll have the option to buy or sell later, while still keeping the option of moving back to the old place like you never even left.
It’s also a good idea to research job opportunities before you accept your offer. In case the new job doesn’t work out, you’ll be aware of how easy (or difficult) it could be to find another job. If you plan on moving without a job offer, research multiple cities to see how compatible they are with your current career. You don’t want to move to a city you think you’ll love only to find that there are no jobs for you.
Follow Your Heart
You can crunch the numbers all day, but your job needs to support you in more ways than one. Make sure your new life will support your emotional and lifestyle needs as well as it supports your bank account. Research whether your new city has the culture, amenities, diversity, and weather you enjoy. Whether it’s the theater, hiking, or the Ethiopian cuisine your family loves, find out whether you’ll have similar options in your new location.
A job is where you spend the majority of your time, so it’s important to place yourself where you’ll be challenged, respected, and satisfied. How well will you get along with your new co-workers? With your new manager? How beneficial is this position to your long-term career? Even a decrease in pay can make up for a better work environment that ultimately furthers your career.
Include the Family
If your spouse/partner and children already have ties and connections to your current city, it may be hard to get them on board. Plan a trip to the new city for the whole family to scout the location and find some reasons to get excited about the move. Explain to your kids the reasons behind the move and how the family plans to adjust.
However, it’s important to take each family member’s opinions into consideration. You don’t have to reject a job offer simply because your 4-year-old really likes his daycare teacher, but see to it that your children’s needs are taken into consideration.
Of course, you should only relocate because it’s what you want, not because you think you should. If your gut is telling you that the job isn’t right for you, don’t let a six figure salary sway you. Remember, this is a decision that affects the daily lives of your entire family, and that should matter more than anything. But if moving to a new state is an adventure your family simply can’t pass up, Cento Family Moving is here to help!