Five years ago I came across a job opportunity that seemed perfect for me! The only problem was I was living in Florida at the time, and the job was in Georgia! However, the more I thought about it, I wondered, is that a problem?
Sure, personally I was comfortable where I was, but professionally I knew I was looking for something more. So before I could talk myself out of it, I applied for the job, got an interview, and within the month I was packing up and heading to Atlanta!
Fast forward to today, I often get questions from people who are in the same situation. In the middle of a job search, looking for new opportunities, and wondering if a move outside of their current city would be a wise choice. For me it was, and it’s something that I advocate for. But like with many things, if you’re not prepared it can be more stressful than it needs to be. At least that was the case for me, and I think I learned enough from the experience to share!
That’s why on the blog today, I want to introduce five questions that I think you need to answer yes to before you decide to take your job search outside of your current city!
- Can I afford the move? – In today’s work climate, the probability of getting an offer that includes moving expenses isn’t that great. Do yourself a favor by running some numbers ahead of time. What areas of the country are you looking? Is it more or less expensive than where you are currently residing? Are you planning on packing everything up and taking it with you? Or ditching what you have and starting over? These are all questions that if considered beforehand will make the move that much easier for you!
- Have I done my homework on the company? –Is it somewhere you think you’d fit in? Does their core mission align with your personal values? And if it doesn’t, is that something that would bother you down the line. Also, consider the company’s position within your industry and whether or not there is room there within that company to foster your professional development and growth.
- Can I handle being away from my support system? – This is a question that takes much thought for some and others not so much. When I made the move to Atlanta, I had already been living away from home for some time, so for me it was a non-issue. However, if this move would be your first away from home, I think it requires some serious thought. At least initially, you’ll be doing life both the good and the bad away from those who love you the most. And you need to be sure you can handle that?
- Will taking this job, accelerate my career? – This also goes back to question 2. If you’re more so moving for the adventure of it all, then you may not need to say yes to this question. But, if it’s strictly a professional move then you need to make sure your objective is clearly identified. Is it a substantial pay raise? Is this your dream job? If not, is it a position that will put you in a better position to eventually land your dream job? I.e., does it give you specific training or experience in a certain niche that is unavailable to you at your current job? Bottom line, and something I always say, just make sure you’re clear on your why.
- Will I be happy in the city if the job doesn’t work out? – Unfortunately, this is something that could happen. For whatever reason, the job turns out not to be what you’re looking for. Do you have a backup plan? Is the city somewhere you think you’d be comfortable staying put and starting your job search over or would you want to get out as quickly as possible? If it’s the latter, that may be something else that gives your reason to pause. Or at least have some secondary possibilities beforehand should you find yourself in that position.
Moving to a new city is exciting! And making sure you’re prepared is the best way to make it as stress free as possible. Hopefully, if you find yourselves in this situation you’ll ponder the questions I talked about here and that they lead you to making the best decision for you!
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