Whether you're contemplating a tree change, a sea change or just a change of scenery, the idea of relocating to pursue job opportunities can be tempting. We all know that the grass always seems greener, but you should ask yourself these questions to determine whether relocating is the right step for you.
Do the Numbers Add Up?
The first question you should ask yourself is whether the move makes good financial sense. If you're taking another position within your existing company, then your employer may take care of your moving and relocation costs, but there's also the ongoing cost of living to consider. Ideally your new job should allow you to maintain a quality of life that's at least as good as your existing home.
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It costs more to live in Sydney or Melbourne than New York City, but Canberra is one of the most affordable capital cities, with prices around 35 per cent less than London. As a rule, regional and rural towns enjoy a much lower cost of living than the capitals. Some websites can help you compare costs between key Australian cities and international locales.
What Else Are You Moving To?
A new job might motivate you to move, but what will you do outside your nine to five? Researching your potential new home thoroughly will help you decide whether its lifestyle will suit you. If you're a sun lover, the dreary grey weather in Melbourne might get you down, but moving to coastal Newcastle or Port Macquarie might be more complimentary to your lifestyle. Foodies might struggle to move from Sydney to a regional centre with only a local pub, but they might be excited by the emerging fine dining movement in the Southern Highlands or the Hunter Valley.
If you've got a family in tow, you'll also need to consider their needs. What are the local schools like, and can your kids still be involved in their favourite activities? Everyone will need to be happy for the move to last.
What's Your Plan B?
Your new home might be just what you're looking for, or it could leave you homesick for what you've left behind. What's your Plan B? If your contingency plan is solid, you'll feel much more confident about moving forward.
Homeowners could rent their home out and lease a new property in their chosen city until they decide whether a move is right for them. This lowers the risk because it allows for a period of adjustment before committing to relocation. Renters can't do this, but they might ask their parents whether they could move back home if things don't work out.
What if you don't like your new job? Research the area and its job market carefully, so you know whether you could find another position if this one doesn't feel right.
Carefully considering the answers to these questions will help you work out whether relocating is the best move for you.