Moving When a Significant Other Gets a Job Offer Out of State

Is it a good idea to move if your significant other gets a job offer?
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It can be difficult to decide what to do if your significant other gets a job out of state. The answer really depends on your personal situation, your commitment, and how it will affect your long-term career goals. When you first graduate from college you may decide to move together to a city and look for jobs close to each other. Some college relationships end, because people are not able to find jobs close to each other and the long-distance thing is difficult to maintain.

It is important to have an open discussion about what each of you wants and expects if you are both behind moving to the new location. You may also decide to try for a long-distance relationship for a short time. 

How Serious Is Your Relationship?

First, you need to consider your relationship and your long-term goals. If you are married you may answer differently than if you have only been in the relationship for a short time of less than a year. If you are in a long-term deeply committed relationship (more than a year), you may answer the questions the same way you would if you were married. If your relationship is strong enough that you are willing to quit your current job and move, is your partner willing to support you while you look for work? It can take quite a bit of time in today's job market to find a good job.

Whose Career Is the Most Important?

Next, you need to determine if one career is more important than the other.

Some couples plan on having one spouse stay home with any children they may have. Couples often choose this based on the income of each spouse. If you are the spouse that will stay home with the children, giving up your current position so your spouse will better be able to support the family makes sense.

But if you are the spouse that will support the family, and your pay is better than it does not make sense for you to give up your job to move.

Will You Be Able to Find a Job in the New City? 

Consider the economic area where you are moving. Most bigger cities do have jobs available in various fields, nearly all the time. You may be able to find a new job relatively quickly and one that is comparable to your current position. You may even be able to transfer within your company. But if the job market is depressed in the area, it may not be a good idea to quit your steady job before you have lined up a new one. You can expand your search out and split the commute distance between the two areas where you work.

Does Location Matter to Either Career?

The other thing to consider is the career field of either partner. For example, a nurse or doctor may have an easier time finding work anywhere, but a computer programmer may need to live in a certain area of the country to make a good living. The other consideration is that some jobs lend themselves to telecommuting or working out of a home base with a lot of travel. If your job is this way, then you may be able to move while keeping your current position.

Some employers offer a job relocation service for spouses or partners where they help you find resources and positions within the community.

Take Time to Discuss All Options

This can be a touchy subject and you should take the discussions seriously and ultimately make the right decision for you and your relationship. Sometimes that may mean ending your relationship or trying out a long-distance relationship for a short period of time. The career decisions you make now can affect you in the long-term. The decision you make will likely not be an easy one, whether you choose to move or stay behind. When one partner in a committed relationship begins to look for new jobs in a wide area, you should begin the discussion about what will happen if she needs to move to keep the job. This will prepare you both for the possibilities of looking for new work or moving across the country.