4 Things to Consider Before Relocating for a Job

by Maurie Backman | Published on Oct. 2, 2021

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A tired woman with moving boxes.

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Got a job offer that requires you to move? Here are some key points to contemplate.

At some point in your career, you may be offered a job opportunity that seems too good to pass up. But what if that job happens to be in another city? In that case, you may have to uproot your life and relocate to take it. Before you do, consider these important factors.

1. The cost of living in your new city

It costs a lot more money to live in a city like Boston, San Francisco, or New York than it does to live in a small or mid-sized city. If you'll be moving from a less expensive corner of the country to a pricier one, make sure that the salary you're being offered is enough to cover your expenses, from housing to food to leisure and entertainment.

Now, several online calculators can help you figure out what salary you need to thrive in a new city compared to your current one. But don't assume that you're about to land in a better place financially just because you're getting a huge bump in pay. If your take-home pay increases by $12,000 a year but it also costs $1,200 more a month to rent a home, buy food, and cover utility bills, then you won't come out ahead. If anything, you might end up having to dip into your savings just to stay afloat.

2. Whether moving changes your mode of transportation

Some cities have consistent, reliable public transportation that generally costs less than owning a car. If you'll be moving from a city with a terrific network of buses and trains to an area where having a car is essential, then that's an expense you'll need to factor into your budget. That said, the opposite may hold true -- you might manage to get rid of your car if you'll be relocating to a city where the public transit system is excellent, and that could result in big savings.

3. The cost of visiting friends and family back home

Your current city may be the place you grew up or have lived in for a long time. If that's the case, and that's where your family and friends are, then you'll probably want to visit pretty often. And that could get costly, depending on how far away you're looking to move. It pays to price out the cost of airfare from your new city to your old one and make sure it fits comfortably enough into your budget given the salary you're being offered.

4. Whether you'll pay for your move or your new employer will

Packing up a home and moving to a new one can be expensive, and the longer the distance, the more you might pay. Before you say yes to relocating for a job, make sure you can either afford the expense of moving or that your employer will pick up some or all of the tab. If your employer doesn't offer, there's nothing wrong with trying to negotiate that benefit into your package.

Sometimes, relocating is an essential step on the road to furthering your career. Just make sure to think things through carefully before agreeing to move.

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