Would you relocate for work? In light of Ivanka Trump’s impending move from New York City to Washington D.C., we’ve been thinking a lot about this question. Just weeks after her father was elected to be the next U.S. president, it was reported that she and her husband Jared Kushner were planning to relocate -- and despite the ambiguity surrounding Ivanka’s involvement with her father’s presidency, it seems clear that her decision to migrate is, in part, a career move.
Her apparent willingness to jump at the chance to relocate -- in spite of the career and family she’s built in New York -- has prompted us to think about what exactly factors into the decision when the opportunity arises.
If you were offered your dream job in another city or country, for a few of you, the choice would be a no brainer -- you’d be on a plane the next month (or, at the other extreme, you wouldn’t even consider moving for a job -- why uproot your life when you’re perfectly stable and comfortable?!)
But most of you would probably dwell on this question for eternity if you could.
Besides the fact that moving tends to be a logistical nightmare, it can burden you with a lot of uncertainty, especially if you’re happy in your current location. Leaving behind a network of friends, family, colleagues and neighbors is scary for most people -- and unless you have a lot of contacts near your new home, you’ll risk feeling the loneliness and stress that can come with starting from scratch.
If you have a partner and/or kids, your situation becomes infinitely more complicated, since your decision is affecting more lives than just your own.
On the other hand, if you’re willing to relocate, you might be making the best possible career choice -- one that could put you on a track that will enable you to fulfill your long-term goals. And if you’ve been feeling like you’re in a rut, whether at work or just in general, moving might be the best way to snap out of it.
Of course, there are numerous factors that would impact your decision, and you’d weigh those factors quite differently than some of your friends and colleagues would. So in case you’re ever faced with this choice, we’ve put together a list of questions that might help you resolve some of your uncertainty:
- Do you see yourself being just as happy (or happier) in this new location?
- If your job offer is with a new company, do you envision yourself feeling comfortable with that company’s culture?
- Is this a financially smart decision? (Would you be making more money, would you have to absorb relocation expenses, and how does the cost of living in your new situation compare with your current expenses?)
- Is this a smart career move (both in the short and long term)?
- Do you know people in the city you’d be moving to? If not, are you comfortable making new friends?
- If you have a partner (and/or kids), are they on board, or would a move largely disrupt their life?
- Does this new location appeal to you in general (its culture, geographically, etc.)?
- Are you comfortable leaving behind your life in your current city?
For many of you, both moving and starting a new job are some of the biggest changes you’ll make in life, so doing both at the same time is a big deal. If you’re in a position to make such a choice, be sure to analyze your options carefully -- but try not to drive yourself crazy. No matter the outcome of your decision, you’re ultimately in control of your next step!