With today’s economy and job market resembling a roller coaster and more people feeling “the itch” to try something new, it’s no surprise that moving for a job opportunity has become increasingly appealing.
As tempting as it seems to pack up and relocate for a new job, it’s important to prepare yourself and your family for the changes that lie ahead. Although it’s an adventure in the making, having the right expectations can help you stay on track financially and manage stress levels when faced with new situations. By doing research on the local community, activities, school district and various clubs or networking groups around, you’ll be armed with a solid baseline of information for making (or not making) the move.
Here are three key things to look into before you make the leap into a new career and new city:
1. Growth Potential and Company Stability
Take some time to do a bit of research on the company to learn its history and background. How long has it been around? Who compromises its leadership? Has it had any reports of struggling financially? What’s the size of the company and how could your career evolve?
Review your current job description versus the one you’d be making a change for and ask yourself what your optimal or ideal career path would be for each. Consider your existing skills and how they’ll be utilized in addition to the opportunities you’ll encounter and the new proficiencies you’ll gain.
2. Cost of Living
Are you moving from a small town to a big city? Will you need to sell everything off and start over? Consider increases (or decreases) in rents, property values or taxes, groceries, transportation and insurance. Be sure to pay attention to the tax rates of your new city and/or state of choice. This could take a hefty bite out of your income if you move from a state with no income tax to a state like California, where rates are much higher.
If you have children, evaluate the costs of public or private schools. Look at the amount of your new salary and draft an anticipated budget for your new locale. Will you be better or worse off based on these new expenses? If you find that you might be hit with a negative effect in the early days, estimate what the likely timeframe would be until your income increases to a worthwhile amount.
3. Lifestyle Changes
While moving to a new city is fun and exciting, be sure to reflect upon the changes your lifestyle will incur. How will your children or significant other handle the transition to a new area? Where is your support group of friends and family located? What will the weather be like during the various season and how will you handle the changes to your indoor or outdoor activities? Are you used to walking to nightlife and entertainment? How will you (and your finances) feel if you need a car and end up with a commute? Will you feel limited in opportunities outside of your new job or welcome the change in scenery and events?