What to Consider When Relocating for a Job (With Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated September 19, 2022

Published October 18, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Relocating for a new job opportunity can provide several new and exciting professional benefits. Sometimes you can move because of a new job, or because your existing job is relocating. If you're considering relocating for a job, having a plan and being organized for the move can make the transition easier. In this article, we discuss popular reasons to relocate for a job, explore considerations to make before relocating, and share a checklist you can use to make sure your relocation is successful.

Related: How to Change Careers

Reasons you may think about relocating for a job

Relocating for a job can involve changing cities, provinces, or even countries. You may do this for new professional opportunities or experiences, or at the request of your employer. Below are some common reasons for relocating:

  • Salary increase: Finding a job in a new location could mean earning a higher salary. Certain locations may offer higher than average salaries.

  • Different industry: Relocating for a new job can occur because the industry only operates in specific areas. One such place is Fort McMurray in Alberta, where there are many oil and gas jobs because of the nearby oil and gas extraction sites.

  • New experiences: It's becoming easier to move abroad to experience new cultures and environments. This can be one of the most exciting reasons to relocate, but typically involves more planning and preparation.

  • Company expansion: You may even keep the same role within your company but be relocating to a new region where your company is expanding. This can be an easier transition as your job role and expectations may stay the same, though you still need to adapt to the new area and new work environment.

  • Personal development: Changes can help you develop as a person and help you better adapt to life, helping you to build courage and confidence. These improved life skills can not only make you a happier person, but can also benefit your professional life.

Related: When to Change Jobs: Reasons, Considerations, and Steps

Main considerations when moving for a career

It is important to consider all the aspects of the move to make sure you're making the right decision for everyone that it involves. Sometimes relocating involves moving your entire family, adding complication to the move. Below are some considerations to make before deciding to relocate:

Family impact

You may be moving with your family, or moving away from them. Consider the emotional impact on you and your loved ones. Think about how your family can transition to the new place and how feasible it is for them to find a job or attend school. Discuss the move with your loved ones and get them involved in the decision-making process. When you involve all the parties so they feel they're a part of the decision-making and planning, relocating for a new job becomes much easier.

Cost of living

The cost of living is an important consideration when determining your new salary. Even if you're being paid more than your previous job, the increased cost of living in the new area could offset any gains. Consider all the expenses involved when living in a new city, such as the cost of schooling, cost of transportation, and taxes.

New location

Make sure you evaluate your interest in living in the new location. Even factors such as the outdoor areas or weather could affect how well you adapt to the new place. You may even consider visiting the new location beforehand, to ensure you have an accurate idea of what life there would be like.

Related: 6 Important Factors to Consider Before Moving For Work

Advancement opportunities

Your new role may seem fulfilling and exciting, but consider what other long-term advancement opportunities it can lead to in the future. Try to predetermine what types of succession opportunities your new company offers, so you can assess your long-term goals. You could also factor in the other job opportunities offered in the new region if you choose to pursue more career advancement opportunities.

Related: How to Create a Career Plan in 9 Steps

Relocation costs

The costs of your relocation mainly depend on the distance of your relocation and the number of people moving with you. In some circumstances, your current or new employer may help cover this cost, but this is not always the case. Determining these costs can help you develop a comprehensive budget and figure out whether the relocation is viable.

Related: How Does Job Relocation Work? (With Relocation Packages)

Re-evaluate your current situation

Making such a large change in your life can also make you reflect on your current situation. This can take the form of writing a pros and cons list of relocating versus staying. Ask yourself if your current situation is all that bad, while comparing it against all the implications of relocating.

Related: 7 Steps on How to Work Internationally Successfully

Checklist for relocating

Being well prepared for a big change means having the right checklist. A checklist can help guide you through the process and ensure you have everything ready before and after your move. Here's a comprehensive checklist you can use:

1. Create a budget

Most facets of your relocation involve money, so creating a budget can help you stay on track. Determining these costs ahead of time can better prepare you for how much money to save and to use for relocating. Having a budget may help you determine what you can afford and if you require taking on any debt. When budgeting, ensure that you are accounting for all related costs, such as packing boxes, shipping costs, and meals during your move.

2. Create a schedule

Creating schedules and several lists means you're considering all aspects of the move. They can help you stay organize throughout the process. You can create lists for packing, tasks to prepare for your new job, expenses, and other matters that relate to relocating. Maintain a schedule of when you plan to complete your lists so you can ensure you meet your goals.

3. Verify your options

Ask your employer what your options are so you can take advantage of any help that they offer. Some companies offer relocation services, including helping your spouse find a job and covering the expenses of your children's schooling in the new location. Some employers may offer assistance if you negotiate it at the time of finalizing your new employment contract.

Related: Interview Question: “Are You Willing To Relocate?”

4. Find a new home

You can easily search for new homes to rent or buy before you arrive by using various real estate listing websites. It is also advisable to arrive at your new location a few days or weeks ahead of your official relocation and new employment start date to view new homes in-person. Don't forget to account for the time and expenses of moving into a new house so you can stay on budget.

5. Research the new location

Your online research can involve investigating the driving routes or public transportation routes that you require to get to work. You can also search for the routes for getting your children to school, entertainment options, and the location of the nearest essential services, such as gas stations, pharmacies, and medical clinics. Gaining an understanding of everything the new location has to offer can make your transition much easier.

6. Set a moving date

Ensure to make all the considerations before setting a moving date, especially factors such as your children's school year, the time it can take to sell your existing home, and the flexibility of your new job's start date. After you complete this, you can start working on all the tasks on your list and notify all of your loved ones of the moving date. The earlier you set the moving date, the more time you have to prepare. Consider the season of your moving date.

Related: Tips for Successfully Navigating Your First Day at a New Job

7. Make last appointments

Once you've set a moving date, start setting your last appointments to help you relocate. This can include meeting with your realtor to list your house, visiting your doctor or dentist, and discussing the relocation with your children's school. Setting these appointments early helps you to organize your time better and ensures you meet with everyone necessary before you go.

8. Use moving expenses as tax deductions

The Canadian government allows using certain moving expenses as tax deductions. This partial reimbursement of your relocating expenses can help offset some of the financial burden of your move. Some eligible expenses include transportation and storage, travel, and costs that relate to selling your home or changing your address.

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