Should You Relocate for a Job?

Should You Relocate for a Job?

The decision to relocate for employment can be a big one. The choice can affect a person personally and professionally. Results from moving for a job can have lasting consequences that may remain for a lifetime. There are so many factors to consider when deciding if moving for work is the right decision.

Moving for a new place to work can be a giant risk. Problems with moving for a new employer can only be greater when the person has a spouse and children. There are so many details to consider moving for work. How do you know to make the right decision? The answer is you won’t completely likely recognize if moving for a job is the right determination. However, there are some questions to ask yourself and several points to consider in order to increase the odds of making a better decision.

Why are you moving to another job?

The term, “the grass is not always greener”, can be a true statement. This is particularly the case when changing employers. If you have an issue with your working conditions, compensation, or just your boss is a complete jerk, relocating for another employer might not necessarily solve your issues. You could possibly make a move only to find the new company you work for is much worse. Finding a good employer can be challenging and it’s particularly important to ensure a new place of work will be the right one when relocating.

Money Motivation

One of the biggest motivators for relocating always seems to be a higher paying job or career advancement. A study by the moving company Allied showed that 49.3% surveyed out of 1000 making a move for the advancement and an increase in compensation. Although higher pay can be a big motivation to move for a new employer, it is important to consider other factors into a financial moving decision based solely on a higher salary.

Higher pay and career advancement are common reasons for job relocation.

Cost of Living

If you are moving for a new job based specifically on making more money, you need to do your research on the cost of living difference. For example, if you live in Florida and earn $60,000 per year, what does that equal if you took a job in Chicago? 

Differences in the cost of living can vary greatly from one area of the country or world to another. Using the example of moving from Florida to Chicago there is a significant difference in just taxes and the cost of housing. Chicago has a state income tax while Florida does not. The cost of rent will also be much different when moving to a big city. 

According to, a person earning $60,000 in Florida would need to be paid $79,282 in Chicago to maintain the same standard of living. The cost of living estimate is 32.1% higher in Chicago overall with housing 115% higher. This clearly shows there can be a substantial difference in the cost of living. A 30% pay raise moving from Florida to Chicago would only be a close lateral move financially.


Employer-provided benefits can have a considerable impact on the amount of money someone truly earns after deductions. Medical insurance, retirement savings, and paid time off should all be carefully considered prior to just relocating for a job based only on more money. 

The benefits an employer provides can make relocating for work worthwhile. But a higher salary could also be much lower once additional financial calculations are taken into consideration with an overall employment package. As an example, if you currently have 4 weeks of paid vacation each year and your new employer will only be providing 2 weeks, this is the compensation you will be giving up for paid time off. Does your current employer contribute to your 401k and will your new one do the same?

Healthcare benefits can be a huge expense. If you are lucky enough to have health insurance at your current job, will the new employer be offering it? Will the monthly premiums, deductibles, and co-pays be more or less? 

Health insurance can vary widely on the costs an employer is willing to pay. The result could be a difference in thousands of dollars a year. For this reason, a higher salary should be carefully considered in combination with an overall benefits package. 

Job Market

There is nothing wrong with moving for a new employer to make more money when it makes sense. However, it is important to look at the entire job market in the new area you will be moving. Unless you are a top executive CEO with a golden parachute available should your new employer not work out, it’s important to research the overall employment prospects for your relocation. 

If you decide to move to a new job and your employer or you decide it is going to work out, it will be important to know that you can get another job in the same area. The reason for this is you might not be able to make a move again right away. You also might really like the area you are now living in. 

Don’t just know that you have a job waiting for you when you relocate. It is also important to know other employers might be available if the company you originally relocate for does not work out. 

Is the New Employer a Good Fit?

Being offered a job with a lot more money can be hard to pass up, although an increase in compensation might not always be the most important factor. There are additional reasons working for another company might be either a better or worse decision. 

You might find a new employer has a culture that does not promote much work-life balance or allow for hardly any time off. If you are a person that needs time away, the new employer would not be a good fit.

It’s also possible that a new employer has a tolerance for workplace bullies or discrimination. This will likely turn out to be a place you don’t want to spend a good part of your time. 

Unfortunately, it can be challenging to really know what it will be like to work for a company until a person is on the job. However, it is important to trust your instincts. If you get a bad feeling about a potential employer that will require relocation, the odds are you should listen to that inner voice. 

Quality of Life and Social Changes

Because the allure of more money is typically the number one reason for job relocation, people regularly forget other aspects of their lives that might change. The idea that making more money will improve a person’s quality of life is usually the principal motivation. The social changes and geographic differences are often easily forgotten when a lot more money is offered to relocate for work. 

Small changes can make a big difference

Moving for a new job might include something like a long commute each day to work for example. If your previous workplace was a 15-minute drive each day in little traffic and your new drive is 45 minutes, how is this going to affect you? Will it elevate your stress level?

Does the new location you move to have the same amount or more cultural and entertainment options? Is this something that is important to you? Different places around the country and world can have very diverse changes in the things that a person can do when not at work. 

Small job changes can make a big difference.

Before making any type of decision to move for a new job, it is important to consider how even small differences might affect daily life. 

Family and Friends

Moving to take a new job in another location can be exciting, but it also might be stressful and lonely. Before making a move, it is important to understand what you might be leaving behind and the potential ahead. Is the job you are taking in an area where you already know people? Will you have the support of friends or family around you? If not, do you make friends easily?

Social changes when moving for job relocation can be almost more stressful than just taking on a new place of work. This can be particularly the case if you also have a spouse or children. 

When relocating for employment with a significant other the changes are not only going to concern the person taking a new job, but also anyone moving with them. It is important to know how a new job in a different place is going to modify other people’s lives that will be also making the move. It is not only the little changes, quality of life, and social aspects that will have an impact on the person primarily moving for a new job, but others around them. 

If a person has children and they are planning on moving for work, very careful considerations should be made. Relocating for a new workplace when kids are involved can have a long-lasting impact on the social dynamics of their life and important questions need to be asked. Will you need to pull your child out of school? How would they deal with change and a move? Do your children make friends easily?

Having a good support system is important for work relocation. Moving with a spouse and children can help with support for each other until everyone settles in, although it can also add to the initial stress of the situation. 

Job Relocation Financial Considerations

In addition to relocating for a new employer because of a higher salary, there could also be other financial considerations that might have an impact on making a decision. 

First, how will the move be paid for? Are you going to need to pay a moving company or rent a truck? Is your new employer going to cover all or a portion of the move? What some people fail to realize is the expense of moving for a new job. Depending on how far the new job will be, the cost could be several thousands of dollars. 

Another financial consideration with moving for a new employer is if you already own a house. Are you going to be able to sell that home and not take a big loss? Will your current home need to be sold before you can move? These are important questions to think through for someone that is a homeowner before moving for a new job. 

Consider all of the financial implications before relocating for work.

Should you make a move?

The decision to relocate for a new workplace can be a hard one. Financial concerns and the impact a move might have on other people can weigh heavily. The ultimate decision is one that can only be made individually. Not even this article should persuade a person one way or the other. A person needs to understand what is best for them and their family, but there are some characteristics that possibly could make a move for someone a better choice. 

Do you like changes?

If you are a person that does not like change, chances are that moving for work will be very difficult. A new place of work and a different location are going to create a lot of change. You will have to figure some things out as you go along.

For someone that likes adventure, the unknown, and meeting new people, relocating for work will likely be less stressful and fun. Even though a move might initially fit a person better that has a sense of exploration, this doesn’t mean someone more reserved not accustomed to change couldn’t be successful with job relocation. Sometimes the most intimidating changes are terrifying at first, but in the end, the outcome can be unexpectedly good. 

Where are you in life?

Relocating for a job and making life changes doesn’t really have an age attached to it. However, young adults early in their life and career will tend to have an easier time moving for a new workplace. This is especially true for a person that does not have a family or children. 

Although an older person might have a more challenging time making the decision to relocate for a job, it doesn’t mean they should not do it. I know that I have made a lot of different decisions and by no means am I still a young adult. In the end, you must make the right decision for you. 

My Job Relocation Experience

Writing this piece on job relocation has made me reflect on my own experience. I will say that I am a person that does not like a lot of change. In addition, meeting new people is not a top strength. I do like some adventure and for this reason, I decided to relocate for a job in my mid-twenties. The move was from Florida to a suburb of Chicago as I used in the example of this article. 

Making the move I learned a lot about people, employers, and how a geographic region can be hurt by a downfall in the economy. The relocation lasted about six years before moving back to Florida to be closer to family. 

I have to say I truly liked living in the Midwest compared to Florida and it was sad to leave. I look back on the experience sometimes like a failure. However, in the end, the positives far outweigh any of the negatives because I ended up with a wife, daughter, and a good friend to this day. 


A person needs to do what is right for them. If you are someone that is looking for answers on if job relocation is something you should do, there won’t be any solutions you can find. This article and many others like it can give you some helpful information on trying to decide, but the conclusion will need to be your own. 

There is no way to be certain that moving to a new job is the right decision. Most often you will not know for some time. Things may also change. A job relocation might work out well for several years only to end by your choice or an employer. The important thing is to learn from the experience. Don’t look at moving for a new employer as a failure if it doesn’t work out in the end. View it as a life experience positive or negative. 


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