Would you move to a new town for a job? Surprisingly, a recent study showed that 32 percent of employers would be willing to pay to relocate a new employee. For those who work in an industry that doesn't have many options in their city, relocating can be a chance to get a better job and have a higher quality of life.
Recently, I relocated to a small town in Maryland. I'm used to the city, but for personal reasons, combined with the slower pace and low cost of living, I decided to give it a try. So far, it's been filled with ups and downs, but on the whole it has been fun. There were a few things that I never expected and some that I should have seen coming. I haven't completely adapted, but it has given me a whole new outlook on things.
Even if you aren't planning to move permanently, relocating for a few years might be the jump start your job search needs. If you're going to make a move, it's really important to do your research. I've learned the hard way that you can't make assumptions about the new area. Things that you take for granted need to be factored in. Here are a few things to know before you go:
Think about the commute - If you plan to move to a big city, decide how long of a commute you are willing to commit to. From there, use a map to find the areas that fall in that target zone. Once you know which neighborhoods are in the area, you can begin looking at properties. If you use sites like Craigslist to search for apartments, you'll need to know the names of the areas in order to find the places you want to live. Otherwise, you might find that the apartment you rent is too far from your work.
Outlying areas - With the housing market still trying to recover, you might find better deals in the outlying suburbs. If you will be working in a large city, there may be easy transit into the city, making the suburbs a great place to live. Even if you want to live in the city, it might be worthwhile to opt for a cheaper place just outside the city and set a goal to move when you have more funds available or are more established in your job.
Examine public transit options - Each area offers a different level of public transit, so make sure to check into the options before you decide where to move. Even in large cities, there are areas that offer more direct routes to your job site, so take all of that into consideration ahead of time.
If at all possible, visit an apartment before you sign a lease - It's better to spend your first week or two in an extended stay hotel rather than sign a year lease at a place you haven't seen. When I relocated, I made the mistake of renting an apartment I hadn't seen the inside of. I had seen the building and the photos from the landlord, so I felt reasonably comfortable making the decision to sign the lease. After I moved, I found many apartments that I would have liked even better and have been under whelmed by the place I rented.
Research cost of living - What sounds like an average rental price in your area might be completely different in another. There are several website that allow you to find out the average rental prices and cost of living in an area. It's important to factor this information into your desired salary request. In an expensive city, you might have to earn considerably more in order to keep the same standard of living. If you're moving from a place where living costs are low, that high paying job you are being offered might not sound as good.
Relocating for a job is hard but it can also be a lot of fun. Just do your research and be prepared for it to be an adventure.