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Think Twice Before Relocating

Tim Eyre -- The decision on whether to relocate can seem like a big guessing game. But it doesn’t have to be. By combining the right kind of research with the right kind of thinking, you can turn a mysterious gamble into an informed judgment.

Have you given much thought to how you would feel if you were faced with the prospect of pulling up your roots and relocating to a completely new environment because of your job?

Many of us have faced this reality before or are facing it now. For some, the only choice they have is to either relocate or get a new job. But for others, the decision is a little more layered. Their company might be offering them a big raise and also paying their moving expenses. Or in some cases a different company might offer them a terrific hard-to-pass-up opportunity in another part of the country.

A new job with a higher salary can be both exciting and rewarding. But uprooting yourself, and in many cases your family, is not the best choice for everyone. It can sometimes prove to be stressful, costly, and risky. Here are some important things to consider before making a decision to relocate:

1. Investigate other local options.

Arm yourself with as much knowledge as you can before making your decision. Specifically, investigate local trends in your industry and try to find out if there are local job openings in your field of work that are as good or better than the opportunity you are considering relocating for. You may be surprised to find that there is actually more job potential in your line of work locally than far away.

2. Consider scouting out your new area.

One of the biggest fears people have about moving to a strange new area is culture shock. There is always the possibility that you or your family simply will not like your new surroundings. It is not always possible to do, but if you have a little time before you need to make your decision, you may want to go on an extended scouting expedition. Visit your target area before actually moving there. If possible, spend a couple of weeks or more in the new location, preferably with your family, to see if you and they feel comfortable in the new environment.

3. Be aware of “hidden” costs.

When comparing jobs from a financial point of view, people often make the mistake of considering salary difference and nothing else. In fact, there are a lot of factors that need to be considered in order to make a true apples-to-apples comparison. One of these factors is taxes. State income tax, sales tax, property taxes and other taxes can vary widely from state to state. Another factor that can vary widely is cost of living. The cost of things like housing, food, clothing, utilities, and transportation is much different in some parts of the country than others. The thought of doubling your current salary might sound mighty tempting, but if the cost of living in your new city is three times as high, you are better off financially staying where you are.

4. Don’t neglect quality of life.

When all is said and done, there is nothing more important than the happiness of you and your family. Although there is no way of knowing for sure how happy you will be in your new city, the best indicators are the various things that make up your quality of life. If you have school-aged children, the quality of the local schools will be one of your most important considerations. Look into the school system and see how closely their standards align with yours. Another consideration is climate. Is it too cold for you? Too hot? Too rainy? Are there annoying species of insects that tend to infiltrate the area at certain times of the year? These are all questions you should know the answers to before you move; not after it’s too late.

5. Make sure you are heading into a stable environment.

If you do decide to take the plunge, you want to make sure you are landing on a stable platform. There is nothing worse than deciding to make a life-altering move and then find out a few months later that you need to do it all over again. Make sure your new job is a stable one. Along the same lines, check your new area for other employment opportunities in your field. Recessions and layoffs can happen all the time. If your new town has a substantial employment base, you will feel more comfortable settling there.

The decision on whether to relocate can seem like a big guessing game. But it doesn’t have to be. By combining the right kind of research with the right kind of thinking, you can turn a mysterious gamble into an informed judgment. Making the leap may or may not be the right thing to do, but when you make the decision, do it strategically.

In his role in the self storage industry, Tim Eyre helps customers care for their cherished belongings that must be put in storage. Tim regularly visits his facilities including a Orlando Self Storage center. He also was recently meeting customers and staff at the San Leandro Self Storage Center. For more advice on how to accelerate your career during tough times participate in Ramon Greenwood's widely read Common Sense At Work Blog click http://www.commonsenseatwork.com. He coaches from a successful career as Senior VP at American Express, author of career-related books, successful entrepreneur, and a senior executive/consultant in Fortune 500 companies. For more free career coaching visit http://commonsenseatwork.com/job-advice-principles.

© 2011 Ramon Greenwood

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