Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on FlexJobs.com.
Have you been offered a job requiring a relocation? Moving for a job is a complicated decision because it affects every aspect of your life, not just your career.
There are many factors to consider, and even more so if you have a family.
So, how do you weigh the pros and cons of relocating for a job? If you’re on the fence about a job offer in a different location, use these factors to help you make up your mind.
Considerations When Deciding Whether to Move for a Job
Moving can be intensely stressful. Add in the challenge of a new job in a completely different location and it only gets more complicated.
Consider which of the following apply to your situation to help you make the best choice.
Impact on Family and Friends
Your relationships should be the most crucial consideration. Assuming that your partner or family will move with you, is there a robust support system in the area where you’ll be relocating?
Not only will there be a change in schools, but there’s an automatic change in daily socializing.
There could also be a difference in the availability of extracurricular activities you and your loved ones enjoy, such as art clubs, sports, and volunteer organizations. Research what’s available and try to visualize your daily routines.
Cost of Living
Where you live is one of the most significant financial impacts in life.
Will your new salary cover all of the moving expenses? Do you need to rent or purchase a new home? What will the average monthly expenses for groceries, utilities, transportation, and leisure activities be? Do your research, so you know what to expect.
When considering the job offer, ensure you understand how the salary compares when you factor in the cost of living. If you’re getting a minor bump in pay, but your cost of living would be substantially more, it’s likely not worth the upheaval.
Remember to consider how taxes work in the state or country where you’ll be relocating.
If you don’t currently pay state income taxes, it can be a shock when you relocate and have to pay them.
On the other hand, sometimes there are certain tax advantages and incentives to relocating, but you’ll want to do your homework before committing to a move.
Do you love going to the symphony, dining out at five-star restaurants, and visiting art museums? If you live near a city that offers those opportunities but you’re relocating to a rural location, what other interests are you going to pursue?
On the other hand, is having the space and room to enjoy nature and outdoor pursuits a major part of your day? Will you thrive without that right outside your door?
Research travel sites that review the type of cultural activities available. If possible, visit the new location to get a feel for it. Consider what your daily life will look like after relocating to determine if it’ll be a good fit for you.
For example, if you currently walk to most places, but in the new area everything requires driving, that might be a huge adjustment.
Local School and Educational Resources
Whether you homeschool your children or they attend a traditional school, you’ll need to ensure you have access to high-quality resources.
What are the reputations and reviews of the school they’d be attending?
You can usually find a Facebook group associated with the prospective school. Read through parents’ posts.
Do they sound predominantly positive? What are your educational options in your new location if you rely on a robust library system for educational resources in your current city? Are you happy with online resources if that’s your best option?
Job Security and Duties
Even if you’re staying with the same company, you may have new job duties or a new team culture.
Is this your dream job or your dream company? Are the changes going to be something you are willing to adapt to?
It’s also important to consider job security. Try to determine if the company has a history of layoffs or other issues that could affect your career path.
If you’re further from your support system, getting laid off might be more of a struggle.
It might seem trivial to consider the weather if your current location generally has mild temperatures. However, in some areas, weather can seriously impact your day-to-day life.
If moving up north, how will you handle harsh winters and blizzards? Do you have a vehicle well-suited to that environment, or will you need a new one?
Working around tornado sirens and flooding is routine in Southern states for several months of the year. Can you adjust happily?
Additionally, if you’re prone to seasonal allergies or have severe asthma, research the pollen count and other environmental factors. Living in a different area can significantly impact those medical issues.
Traffic and Commute Times
If you’re used to an easy commute in rural areas, it might be quite a shock to move into a suburb with stop-and-go rush hour traffic. Get online and look up average commute times for the places you’re considering.
Verify that your anticipated salary covers current and projected gasoline prices, so you can get to work without feeling pinched.
Will you be living in areas close to work, or are you committing to a substantial commute so your family can have room to roam?
Ensure that you’re researching specific neighborhoods and suburbs within your commute boundaries, rather than the city in general.
Future Career Opportunities
If you find yourself in a role that isn’t the right fit for your goals, will there be other options? Look at job postings and see what positions are available in your field.
How does this role align with your long-term career goals? Will you likely have more or fewer opportunities if you make a move? Even if your job keeps you with the company, does a future promotion mean another relocation?
Are you willing to make that commitment?
Professional Opportunities for Your Loved Ones
Your career is one of many affected by this move. Your spouse, partner, and kids may need to be able to move their jobs as well.
Check out the job postings for their industry in the area and examine potential obstacles to them finding work.
Deciding Whether to Relocate for Work
When you’ve done the research and you’re still not certain that moving is the best option, consider asking about flexible work options. You could ask about a remote job, either full-time or part-time.
Depending on your circumstances, maybe a compressed workweek would be an ideal solution. You’d be commuting to the office fewer days each week.
When deciding to move for a job, don’t be afraid to follow your instincts. If you know in your gut that this move is one that you want to make, go for it.
However, if you are on the fence about the move and the job, it may benefit you to consider your options further, such as asking to work remotely.
Relocating for a job can be a great opportunity or an experience you regret. Take the time to research all aspects of a job relocation before committing to a move so that it’s something positive and beneficial for you, both short-term and in the future.