Consumer Watch: Top three questions to ask before relocating for work
OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) —
A new work opportunity is an exciting time, but when it comes to relocations, think before you act.
Moving for work can bring a lot of good including a possible raise, a new city, along with new opportunities. It's not all good though-- there are the top three things to consider before taking a job that will require a move.
Whether it's about finding work or career growth-- relocating for a job will be a burden. The pay-off has to be worth the cost. Get answers to these questions before making a life changing decision.
1. How far will your money go?
Moving for work-- especially longer distances should involve a big raise. It's generally not worth the expense if you're earning the same amount. Don't get tricked by a seemingly big number, check the cost of living where you might be moving. An easy way to do that is to check a cost of living calculator online. This will help you determine if you can maintain the same standard of living in the new city.
2. Can you afford the move?
Some jobs will pay for an employees' moving expenses. Whether it's a new company or a transfer, don't expect to see the money up front. Generally, a company reimburses the employee after the fact. That means spending potentially thousands up front. You would have to use your savings or put the cost on credit cards if you have access. It’s important to your financial stability to make sure you pay the moving debt immediately after getting reimbursed. Some people can make the mistake of using that money for something else, and then carry the moving debt for years on credit cards.
3. How will you or your family adjust?
If your single: Consider your housing option and your comfort level being away from a support system.
In a couple: Are there work opportunities for your significant other. Getting a substantial raise is great, but it could be an overall loss if your spouse is unable to find a job making the same or more money.
Have kids: Consider checking the school system and housing before agreeing to make the move.
A seemingly minor consideration is the weather. A 2008 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed there was a link between the sun and tiredness. If you are used to getting a lot of sun and move to a place where there isn't much of it, you could have depression like symptoms. There would likely be an adjustment period, which could affect your happiness, even if you are accustomed to cold weather and move to a hotter region.
Having to adjust to new weather patterns isn’t a deal breaker, but it is important to have a good view of how your life will change if you are considering making a big move for your career. Financial considerations are important, and could potentially have a greater impact on your decision.