Meet Elle Torres who got her dream $100,000+ in her twenties, *before* finishing her degree. And the best part? She used a strategy you can replicate and network your way into any job you want.
A transfer or a new job is consistently one of the top five reasons that people move, according to MyMove.com’s consumer insight survey.
Even if it’s common, moving for a job can be terrifying, and rightfully so.
As the founder of Transizion, a career prep company, I’m constantly asked by dozens of professionals about whether they should trade stability for a new job.
And that’s totally understandable.
Stability feels comfortable and safe. Uprooting your life for work often feels like a scary leap into the unknown.
But if you’re willing to take the plunge, moving for work also offers many benefits.
Before you decide that it’s simply not worth the risk, let’s look at the ways moving for a new job can improve your life.
Potential Benefits of Relocating for Work
Unsure if making a big move for work is right for you? Consider these five benefits as you weigh your options:
1. Experience New Things
You can’t put a dollar amount on the value of new experiences.
In a survey conducted by IMPACT Group, 71 percent of respondents said that moving for work allowed them to enjoy new experiences, whether on the job or outside of the office.
A new location means new challenges, adventures, and opportunities.
You’ll sample new foods, experiment with new hobbies, and maybe even immerse yourself in a new culture.
Of course, you’ll also make new friends. If you haven’t developed deep friendships where you currently live, moving may bring you in contact with “your” people.
40 percent of respondents to the IMPACT Group survey said they found a better community (in the neighborhood or in the office) when they moved.
If you feel like you’re stuck in a rut or ready for a change, moving may be just the fresh start you need.
2. Grow Your Professional Network
In addition to growing new friendships, you’ll also grow your professional network.
Are you moving from a small town to a larger city? Life in a big city offers significantly more professional connections.
Start networking even before you go by reaching out to people you know in the area, using your alumni group, or making connections on LinkedIn.
Once you arrive, start by getting to know your coworkers. You can also attend industry events and professional meetups.
As you meet people, let them know you’re new to town. Many will jump at the chance to make recommendations and help you acclimate.
Even if you aren’t moving to a big city, you’ll be able to combine your previous network with your new connections.
And if you work in a specialized field, some cities will present far more networking opportunities than others.
3. Improve Your Finances
Initially, moving can be expensive. But relocating for work often benefits your finances in the long run.
Your new salary may be higher than your current salary. If it’s not, does the new job offer more opportunities for promotion (and a higher salary) than your current job?
Remember to think long-term. Will the move put you in a better financial situation in the next 5–10 years?
Additionally, the cost of living varies. For example, the value of a dollar in New York is 0.87 cents. In Ohio, it’s $1.12.
Be sure to factor cost of living into your calculations. Moving somewhere with a lower cost of living can be a major win for your bank account.
4. Access New Opportunities
Your current job and city may offer limited opportunities. Reaching your full potential in your field might mean relocating.
In general, larger cities typically mean larger companies. And larger companies usually have more opportunities for growth.
As mentioned above, this can be especially true if you work in a specialized field. If you work in tech, for example, you may find the best opportunities in Silicon Valley, Austin, Dallas, or Seattle.
Relocating may be scary, but it often brings exciting opportunities that are out of reach in your current city.
5. Build Your Self-Reliance Skills
Encountering new obstacles and re-establishing your life in a new place will build your self-reliance skills.
It’s a great time for reflection and self-discovery. You’ll become more independent, more courageous, and ultimately more confident.
Often, moving for a new job is great for both your personal and professional development. Instead of viewing the experience as terrifying, consider it a new and valuable adventure.
Ask Yourself These Questions Before Relocating for Work
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should pack up all your belongings and rent a U-HAUL right this minute.
Moving for a new job does offer many benefits, but it requires some thought and planning.
Before you make your final decision, ask yourself the following:
- Will I love my new job?
- Will the new job offer opportunities that my current job does not?
- What does my future look like at this new job, compared to my future at my current job?
- Where will I live?
- What is the cost of living?
- What entertainment and other experiences does the new city offer (aside from work)?
- Will my family and I be happy there?
- Is the company/city culture a good fit?
- What are the potential obstacles? What will I leave behind?
- If you have a significant other: Is my significant other supportive of the move? Where will he/she work? Will he/she move with me?
- If you have kids: Where will my kids go to school? Are there good schools in the area?
Finally, ask yourself:
If, worst-case scenario, I’m not happy with the move, what’s my exit strategy?
You don’t want to scare yourself or dwell on anything negative. However, it’s always smart to have a backup plan just in case.
Plus, having a backup plan can make you feel more confident and optimistic. You’ll know that if things don’t go according to plan, it’s not the end of the world.
If you feel like a move is a great idea and you know exactly where you’d love to go, make sure to check out our article: How to Find and Land a Job in Your Dream Location
If You Decide to Relocate, Follow These Tips
After weighing the pros and cons and answering the above questions, you’ve decided to make the big move. Now what?
Follow these tips to ensure your move goes smoothly:
- Try to negotiate a relocation stipend or a signing bonus to offset your moving costs.
- Research the commute to help you choose an ideal location.
- Apartment/house hunt in person if possible. Ideally, you should rent first before making a long-term commitment.
- Take the time to explore your new area. Talk to people that have lived there, read local blogs, and learn as much as you can.
- Get organized. Checklists, to-do lists, and calendars will be your best friends. So will this article: Learn to Manage Your Personal Life Like a Project Management Pro
- Start building your network so you can hit the ground running.
- Once you arrive, get out and be social. Say “yes” to invitations from your coworkers and get integrated into your new community.
So, what do you think?
Have you ever relocated for a new job? How did it go? Would you ever relocate for a new job? What would be most exciting and most nerve-wracking about the experience?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments!