Last week The Chicago Tribune ran an article on job seekers who felt geography was the hindering their job searches. According to the article, “In the first quarter of this year, 14.3 percent [of job seekers who found work] relocated for a job; in the second quarter of 2008, 11.4 percent moved for work.”
We’ve mentioned before the roles of your city and state in job hunting. Location, location, location–it’s not just important to real estate agents. It’s also not an easy move to make, either. If relocation only involved getting a job, people would be hopping across the country without a second thought. However, people tend to have–you know–lives! Family, children, mortgages, schools, sentimental attachments. These factor in to why we live were we live.
Unfortunately, part of life is paying bills and making ends meet. That usually relies on a job. And that brings us back to the question: Would you relocate for a job? Your answer could depend on your occupation. I know that several professors I had in college went where the jobs were. Tenured professors don’t leave and not every school offeres the same courses, so picking a city and assuming you’ll find a job isn’t usually possible.
Therefore one professor who earned his Ph.D. in Victorian literature, which meant only a certain number of relevant openings were available each year. Many medical professionals also follow suit and go where their specialization is needed. If you’re in sales, you could have an easier time finding opportunities throughout the country. However, as the article said, the amount of job seekers outnumbers the amount of job openings. So anyone looking for a job has to address the possibility of relocation. Is it an absolute no for you? Is it a maybe? Is it something you’ll likely do?
To help you make your decision, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- What is the entire cost of the move itself?
- What is the comprehensive cost of living adjustment?
- When is your last day on the old job and your first day of the new one?
- What are your career opportunities in this new city?
- What does saying “no” to the relocation mean for your career?
- If you’re switching employers, what are your career opportunities at the new company?
- Do you want to move?
There are no rights or wrongs to these answers. You have to decide for yourself what you’re willing to sacrifice and what risks you want to take. Just remember that the decision to relocate is more involved than just changing your address at the Post Office.
If you’ve moved for a job, let us know if it worked out for you. Did you get the job before you moved or did you just move and take a chance?