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Career advice for job seekers

Why should I relocate for a job? 23/09/2011

People choose to relocate for work for many reasons; a new job, an employer moving premises, a promotion, lifestyle improvements or a change of career are just some examples.

Why should I relocate for a job?

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  1. The task ahead
  2. A change of priorities
  3. You are not alone
  4. What will you get for your move?
  5. International relations

The task ahead

The prospect of moving for work, either within the country you reside or further afield, can prove an extremely daunting one which will require a huge amount of consideration before you commit fully.
The key to any successful relocation is research, into both the organisation you’re moving for and into the region you’ve settled on.

A change of priorities

Historically, the principal reason behind relocating for work purposes tended to be career advancement. However, in the face of a harsher economic climate, job seekers are more prepared to look elsewhere for work having exhausted all viable options on their own doorsteps.

You are not alone

Your first consideration when contemplating relocation for work has to be, where your family and friends fit in to your plans?
No man is an island, as the saying goes, and so the option of moving home for work generates many important questions and social considerations, such as:
  • House prices – will you need to sell your home and how will you get on in your new location in the mortgage or rental market?
  • Cost of living – will you be moving to a more affluent area where you’re weekly/monthly outlay for the basics will dramatically increase?
  • Quality of life – how will your new commute compare to your previous arrangement, and will you have be sufficiently stimulated by what your new location has to offer?  
  • Schools – how does the standard of education compare in schools for your children and are there adequate preschool services for the younger ones?
  • Social networks – will you be lonely? Will you be leaving behind a community you feel part of, or friends and colleagues who are an intrinsic part of your life? 

What will you get for your move?

Any major relocation - including family, house, career etc. - should be viewed as a medium to long-term arrangement of between two and five years, if not longer.

To this end, before you seal any deal with your future employer, you should establish the following:

  • The state of the organisation – will they be around and still in a position to employ you in 18 month's time?
  • Incentives to relocate – will your employer assist with your relocation costs or with the sale of your house? Will you receive adequate medical insurance for you and your family? 
  • Networks – will you be in a position to build new networks to help advance your career?
  • The nature of the job – will you be stimulated by your new job? Will you get adequate training and will you be given the proper level of resources to perform?

International relations

If the move you’re contemplating is to a different country, you may also want to consider how you’ll integrate into the local environment. Conduct an honest self-evaluation of how adaptable you and your family are, because an international move is likely to present some major changes to your day-to-day life including:

  • Language – even if business is conducted in English, you may need to get to grips the language of your host country to fully assimilate. 
  • Culture – the social and professional culture may be different to what you’re used to, and you’ll need to adapt to the local norms. 
  • Surroundings and climate – if you’re used to mild winters, would be able to cope with regular snow storms, for example? 
  • Remember, relocating for work will undoubtedly be one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever have to make during your working life. So, being realistic about what you would like to achieve and keeping a positive outlook throughout the entire process is essential.
Mitchell Partington, operating director, Michael Page International

Mitchell Partington, operating director, Michael Page International

Mitchell is responsible for Michael Page Human Resources the North West and Yorkshire, and for contingent and retained HR recruitment from middle management to board level. He initially joined the Group 11 years ago.