Should I Relocate?

Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Move

Are you thinking about moving to a locale so far from where you currently live and work that commuting to your job, if you have one, will be impossible (unless you can telecommute). Your reasons for wanting to relocate may feel pretty important right now. For example you may want to be closer to a significant other or further away from one. Perhaps you want to see what it's like to live elsewhere or are looking for better employment opportunities. However compelling your reasons are, this decision isn't one you should make without a lot of forethought. Here are some questions you should ask yourself before you start packing your bags.

Are There Jobs Available in My Field?

Germany, Bavaria, Grobenzell, Couple loading boxes into car, smiling
Packing up and moving to a new life. Westend61 / Brand X Pictures / Getty Images

Employment opportunities for different occupations vary from city to city. While jobs may be plentiful in your field in one city, there may be far fewer employment opportunities in another. On a positive note, opportunities may be better in the region you want to make your new home. You should investigate before you make your final decision. Check out local job listings to see if there are openings in your field. You can also use a free tool on America's Career InfoNet to compare employment trends by occupation and state. If you want to be as safe as possible, get a firm job offer before you move.

What is the Cost of Living and How Much Can I Expect to Earn?

The cost of living varies from region to region and salaries often do as well. While salaries are often commensurate with cost of living, they aren't always. To determine whether you will earn enough to live on, you need to find out the approximate salary you can expect and what the cost of living is in the region to which you want to move.

Will the Work Environment Be More Stressful?

Does your desired move involve relocating from a small town to a big city? If you currently work in a small town, you are likely used to a somewhat laid back work environment. You can expect an entirely different atmosphere in a big city. Things will move at a much faster pace. Will you be able to keep up with it or will it make you feel stressed out? 

Will the Work Environment Move at a Slower Pace?

When you relocate from a big city to a small town you will likely find yourself in a workplace that moves at a much slower pace. While it may seem counterintuitive, a laid back atmosphere can be as stressful for someone who isn't used to it as a fast-paced one can be for someone who is unaccustomed to that. A high energy environment may have kept you motivated. While some people may appreciate the calm, you may not be one of them.

Will My Work Environment Be More or Less Formal?

How formal your work environment is will affect everything from how you dress for work to how you greet clients. Generally speaking, work environments in bigger cities tend to be more formal than those in smaller towns. If you cringe at the idea of wearing a suit to work everyday, you should consider this.

What Will My Daily Commute Be Like?

How do people in the region to which you want to relocate get to work every day? Do they use public transportation or do they drive? How do you currently commute to work? If the mode of transportation is the same, find out if it is as efficient. For example if you are used to a public transportation system that runs smoothly, will you have to deal with overcrowded trains and buses that face frequent delays if you move? Or will you have to deal with heavy traffic when you're used to quiet roads? If you will have to use a different way of getting to work, how will you feel about that? Will you mind sitting in traffic when you are accustomed to working, sleeping or reading on the train. Another thing to consider is the length of your commute. How far away from where they live do people typically work in your prospective new city or town?

Will My Significant Other Be Able To Find A Job?

If you are moving with your partner, both of you will probably have to find jobs. Your investigation of your new town or city will have to include looking into whether opportunities exist for him or her. If they don't you may have to find an alternate plan.