Congratulations! You've been offered a job with a company in a new city or state — or perhaps even a new country. You've gone through the grueling process of multiple phone screens, traveled for in-person interviews, and you're now considering the offer package.
But before you take the plunge, consider these five things that no one tells you about before relocating for a job.
1. Think through the cost of living. This seems like an obvious one, but when faced with the decision to move to a new city or state, you will need to scrutinize your cost of living. It does not simply mean being able to pay rent. You'll also need to consider personal expenses like the cost of groceries, fuel costs (if you have a car), auto insurance costs (often variable by city/state), personal grooming services (hair salon, manicure/pedicure costs, waxing, or otherwise.)
Make a list of all of the regular expenses you currently have in your life and run an analysis. Are you at a loss for how to gather service costs? You can access most service providers and their rates through sites like Yelp.
2. Get Referrals. Finding reliable doctors, dentists, optometrists or other health professionals can be tricky. While you can find referrals through your medical plan directory, you may have better results asking the specialists you have now. By leveraging the networks of health professionals you already know, you can save the time and avoid headaches. Depending on the size of the city, you may use an app like ZocDoc to find healthcare specialists. It's an easy-to-use app that provides ratings.
3. Consider the Climate. Some states like California and Arizona have consistent and reliable weather. But places like New York or the Pacific Northwest can have severe weather that often makes you feel like you've worn the wrong outfit. Before you decide to move, consider the outdoor activities that you enjoy and determine if you will be able to continue pursuing these hobbies in your new climate.
4. Think about your diet. Are you a vegetarian? Are you a vegan? Or do you eat gluten-free? If you are moving to a remote location that does not support your dietary restrictions, you may struggle. For example, if you're a vegan, and you're considering a job in Memphis, Tennessee, you'll likely need to make time to cook at home more often. If that's the case, be sure to scout out the local grocery stores catering to your plant-based diet. One great resource is https://www.happycow.net/.
5. Dig into your potential employer's relocation package. If you're not familiar with company relocation services, gather as much information as possible from your potential employer. Many companies offer a full relocation package or partial assistance when you move.
Larger companies like Johnson & Johnson and Microsoft will provide home or apartment finding assistance, provide temporary housing, keep your belongings in storage while you're looking for a place, and assign you a realtor to help you on your search. Best of all, they hire movers who come to your old home and pack up everything for shipment. They also provide an unpacking service once you find the perfect place so you don't have to lift a finger. These two companies also cover costs associated with moving: fees to set up your internet access and other utilities, rental security deposits, or the cost to transfer your driver's license. Since you're relocating for the company, they help you make the transition as smooth as possible so you can focus on getting up to speed at your new job.
Relocating for a job can be stressful, so preparation is key. You don't want to end up in a new city or state and have to drastically change the way you live. After all, you moved for a job but it doesn't mean you have to give up the other parts of your life that are important to you. Think about these tips, do some research, and seek out that new adventure!