A job offer in a new city, state, or country can be a hugely tempting opportunity. Change of scenery! New job! New people! Excitement! But before you make this huge life decision, there are some questions to ask yourself first.
Is this really what I want?
A job may look like the total right fit on paper—it’s in your field, it’s more pay, it’s in a city you’ve always wanted to live in. But before you say yes, think about what this job means for your goals. Will you be able to grow in the job? How does it align with your career goals? What is your next step after this job? It can seem premature to start thinking about your next job, but if this isn’t a role where you’re going to be able to grow and evolve in your career, you’re changing an awful lot in your life to take it.
How stable is this job offer?
This is also a chance to do a little extra digging on your potential company’s future. If it seems like it’s on shaky ground, your awesome opportunity may turn quickly into sudden unemployment. If you can, seek out feedback from others who’ve worked there before. If you start seeing patterns like high turnover or major disgruntlement from former employees, then you might want to give some second thought to whether this is the job and the company you hope and expect it will be.
How will this affect my personal life?
Let’s put the career move aside for a second—what about outside of work? If you’re moving alone to this new place, are you ready for the challenges of doing a new city or town all on your own? What are your resources going to be? If you’re moving as part of a couple or a family, it’s time to consider their needs as well. Will you be happy while your spouse is miserable and unable to find a job? Will your kids need to be uprooted from friends/school/activities? Work-life balance is essential in any career, so you need to think about how your home life will be changed by this work move.
What are the costs and the logistics of moving?
If you’re accepting a new job in a new city or town, your new company may cover moving expenses, like moving trucks, car rental, temporary housing, or realtor fees. But the company might not. Before you accept and commit to moving for this new gig, be sure you’re aware of what your new company will—and won’t—cover to get you there. And it’s not just the obvious moving costs as well. Will you need to buy new furniture? What are average housing and living costs in your new place?
If a move is going to cost you thousands of dollars, and this isn’t reflected in your new salary, then you’re making a huge financial commitment as well.
Grabbing a new job and moving to a new place can be exhilarating, and a great jump-start to your career. But before you sign that offer letter and start packing the U-Haul, it’s important to think long and hard about whether it’s truly the right choice for you.
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