Are you willing to relocate for a job?

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relocationLast 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:

  1. What is the entire cost of the move itself?
  2. What is the comprehensive cost of living adjustment?
  3. When is your last day on the old job and your first day of the new one?
  4. What are your career opportunities in this new city?
  5. What does saying “no” to the relocation mean for your career?
  6. If you’re switching employers, what are your career opportunities at the new company?
  7. 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?

53 Comments
  1. yes, I am willing to relocate for a job. All I need is an opportunity and I would move as soon as I got a call. I am ready just waiting to get the call.

  2. I would love to relocate. My job moved me to a town that has very few jobs. For me I would love to move back to a place that actually has jobs for what I do.

  3. i moved to FL and could not find work to support myself so came back to MI most said they would not hire anyone who was not from FL

  4. The two biggest concerns for many job seekers willing to move are: 1) selling homes currently underwater in today’s ridiculous real estate market; and 2) fewer employers being willing to cover relocation costs.

    It’s tough to sell a home when you owe more on the mortgage than the home’s currently worth. And with labor supply so plentiful in many U.S. markets, fewer companies are willing to pick up all or even some of a candidate’s relocation costs. If a job seeker has a home and family, relocation is not an insignificant expense.

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  13. yes I would love to relocate for a Job that pays enough to take care of my Family I was a welder for 23plus years then I was laid off and there were no Welding Jobs in Fort Smith OK that’s were I was at the time now I’m doing home health I love the Field because I love People I would love to relocate my Family my Wife and one little Girl shes nine I am Certified in Home Health and as a welder home Health I have been in home Health for one year But I love it I’m a supervisor now its a Long Story would love to fine a Better Job in Home Health I Love People ,hard working would be Great !Please Contact me if you know were I can get one I’m a 42 year old Man , I can be Back ground checked no drugs or alcohol thanks Phil,

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  15. I am willing to move almost anywhere. However, i do not just want to move for the sake on the off possibility that I will find a job. In 1992 I did that when the economy fell in the NE. It was exciting I was given a job in the marketing department of a major ski resort. A teenager ran a red light, totaled my car and me, then I got stuck out here in Colorado. Great place for the soul but bad for the career in my case. NYC would have been better for career. Many more opportunities. Sometimes it is best to wait it out. One thing I have become very creative.

  16. Yes i would relocate for a job. Its better to have a job then be jobless with all the bills a family expenses…trust me I know.

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  23. Sounds like I’m one of many that are willing to relocate. THE PROBLEM however, is that I am encountering “Location Discrimination”. Some job postings state it’s only open to local residents (including Federal jobs!). THAT seems like it should be added to EO statements…”will not discriminate based on age, gender…LOCATION”.

    What does my place of residency have anything to do with succeeding at the job? If it’s my problem to drive or fly to interviews, so be it, but it’s not fair to exclude someone from an opportunity solely based on their current address.

    If I had time, connections, money, I would want to work on this type of legislation. It’s not right.

    Along the same lines, I have also come across questions required for a job response that asks, “What would your commute be like”? Again, what does that have to do with succeeding at the job, getting there is MY problem. If you have concerns about an employee showing up on time, the question should be “Are you able to be at work on time/precisely”?

    Summary: It’s one thing to read information about relocating for a job, but as I’m discovering, it presents a discrimination issue.

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  45. I do like the way you have framed this issue and it does give me some fodder for thought. However, from what I have seen, I just hope as the comments pile on that people stay on point and not embark on a tirade of the news du jour. All the same, thank you for this excellent point and although I do not agree with it in totality, I respect your point of view.

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