There are many things to consider when relocating; start by doing a significant amount of research. The first thing to do is to determine WHY you are relocating. Do you need a change of pace? Do you desire a new position? Are there career or personal issues that are not working well where you are? Be honest with yourself; relocating can involve a great deal of time and money. Make sure your decision to relocate has been well thought out.
Before making any commitments, obtain information about your new location, such as the cost of living, available health care, climate, job growth, housing market, transportation, educational opportunities, crime rates, state or provincial taxes, and recreational sites. It is easy to get this information on the internet. Remember that you are making one of the most important decisions of your life.
Find out/determine the answers to the following questions:
- How does the new location fit your lifestyle?
- What is the new city like?
- How does the new location compare to where you live now?
- Where can you find out about housing prices, crime rates, and job growth rates?
- How much time can you afford to spend compiling the information required to make such an important decision?
- What is the school system like (if you have children of school age)?
Obtain current, reliable, and complete information about any factors that will contribute to your quality of life in the city you choose.
Choose the best city or cities to visit for interviews and research the employment opportunities in each city. When you decide where you want to move, see what kinds of jobs are available, and what companies are prominent in that area.
Look on the internet for a salary comparison calculator. Determine the amount of salary necessary to meet your needs, and find out if you will be able to earn your needed salary in the new location. In order to research the availability of jobs in a new area, contact the State or Provincial Employment offices and the Chambers of Commerce. Check the labour market reports to see if there is a need for your occupation in the new area.
You will need to develop a timeline for your job search. Often this is easy as most people simply wait until they have achieved some milestone, such as university or college graduation, or the end of their children’s school year to make a move. However, your job search will need to start before that. It may take up to six months or longer to be offered a job that you really want, so you must start early and be patient.
You may be required to travel extensively in order to make contacts, research locations, or attend job interviews. Plan ahead to have the funds available for the expenses needed for travel. Relocating can be a great opportunity, and people do it all the time. If you do it for the wrong reasons or without adequate research, however, it can turn out to be a miserable mistake.
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Candace Davies ACCC, CRW, CIC, CPRW, CEIP, CECC
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