Man in a suit packing up his office.

Are you considering relocating for a job? If the answer is yes, there are a few factors you should take into consideration. It is a big commitment, and you should take time to examine the opportunity from all angles. There is a number of variables both in and outside of the company you should assess. We’ll break down four key factors, and what they mean to you.

1. Affordability & Cost of Living

A change in location means a change in the cost of living. The difference between the value of the dollar where you are now versus where you are going could be significant, and it’s worth doing some research. If you are receiving a pay increase, you should look at it with consideration given to cost of living. What may seem like a raise could actually be a cut when you factor in those costs. To save you the trouble of doing the computations yourself, PayScale has a handy Cost of Living Calculator. All you have to do is plug in the two locations, your salary, and your job title and it will calculate the difference. It may also be worthwhile to do some specific research into taxes, rental prices, and property costs in the area as well.

2. The Relocation Package

It’s also important not to get too caught up in the opportunity that you fail to ask for details about the relocation package itself. Every relocation package is unique, and handled in a different fashion. Think about what you want covered, and ask what will be paid for by your future employer. A few things to consider include:

  • Moving Services
  • Temporary Housing
  • Rental Assistance
  • Pre-Move Visit
  • Storage
  • Travel Reimbursement

These are just a few of the most common pieces included in a relocation package. You should also figure out  how it will be covered. Your new employer may choose your moving company for you, or they might want you to bring them the invoice and they will pay it. Understanding how everything will be handled before the move will make the process itself much less stressful. Also, you wouldn’t want to find out at the end of the move that the employer is only covering half of what you thought they would. Make sure you clarify the details of the relocation package early on to avoid any confusion.

3. Location

When it comes to the actual location you are moving to, there are a lot of points to consider. For starters, what type of area are you moving to? Will you be transitioning from the laid back countryside to the hustle and bustle of a major city? If you have children, how is the school system in the area? If you travel often is there an airport within a reasonable driving distance? Make sure you consider the proximity of the job to what you consider important.

You should also consider if the area you are moving to is a smart move professionally. Are people in your profession in demand there, are is that skillset extremely common? While you may be perfectly happy staying with this company for a number of years, it can be comforting to know there are other opportunities in the area. One of the other factors people fail to consider when relocating is the commute. It’s easy just to focus on the distance of the move, instead of the time you will spend driving to and form work each day. At the very least plug the address of your new residence and that of your new employer on Google to get an estimate. With Google Maps, you are able to estimate the commute at certain times, which could help you get an idea of what traffic would look like at the beginning and end of your work day.

4. Career Growth

The final factor you should consider is career growth. You’re making a big change in your life to take this position, so you should make sure it’s worth it. Examine your whole compensation package to see if it would justify the move. Take into account your salary, the benefits, and if the position offers growth. Before you make a final decision, make sure you compare what you are gaining against what you are giving up by relocating.

Relocating could be a great decision that propels your career forward, but it’s important to look at the opportunity from every angle. Make sure you’ve factored in the difference in cost of living, the location, and the growth it would offer. You should also have a clear understanding of the relocation package being offered, and how it is being covered by the company. Thinking all of these factors through will allow you to make an informed decision when the time comes.