When changing location for your career, there are plenty of questions to ask yourself, while in most of the cases, this decision brings along many benefits, it can happen that the relocation turns into a bad experience. This happens mostly when the relocation is unprepared and potential challenges are not anticipated.
From cost of living, integration into the culture, job’s expectation, relocation package, or children school, we share with you here the questions that you should work on before your relocation.
1. Who will pay relocation costs?
Moving to a new place, in the same country or in another part of the world involves cost, from leaving the current apartment, moving furnitures, flight costs, transitional stay to find a new home etc. There are different costs involved in the relocation process, and those can be covered by the company. When getting the job offer, discuss this with your employer and understand what your costs will be and what the company is offering you.
A relocation package usually includes:
• Visa and work permit advisory
• Home-finding services
• International moving and storage.
• Advice about settling in processes.
Every situation is unique, therefore, you may want to discuss additional features to complete your relocation package.
In case you don’t get a relocation package, for example, when you are moving within the same company and this decision is coming from you, ensure that you have enough money saved to cover those expenses and that the company will be flexible with giving you time to organize your relocation.
2. Will my salary increase, will my purchasing power change?
The reason we often speak about salary as a touch point when relocation occurs is because a relocation involves many changes in your personal life.
Even more when you already have a husband or spouse, kids. The risk taken in the relocation should at least be compensated by a salary increase. However, we all are different, some people would value the opportunity to live another life in another environment.
Understand what matters to you, if the salary is not and is a sensible point in the job offer, you can try to get at least the same amount and understand if your new environment will make you a happier person. Another factor that should be taking part of your decision making is the cost of living in your current place vs the cost of living in your future environment, there are websites specialized in this field that will help you understand how much you can expect to spend in rent, food, leisure etc. for instance: numbeo
3. What does the future of the company look like?
The future of the company plays its role when accepting a job offer, when it comes to relocation it’s even more important. Many would not leave a job, an environment, and a whole life for a short-term period. Check out the current financial situation of the company, find out for how long the company has existed, what is the employees turnover, etc. Do those checks especially if the company is new. If the company has been around for a while, try to understand how stable the company over its lifetime has been. The goal here is to ensure that you will not make all the efforts to relocate and be laid off after 6 months.
4. Is there an opportunity to move up in the company?
Relocating is not so easy, it most likely reflects some parts of your ambitious character. When relocating, try to understand how the company works with promotion, what their official program is or if they even have an opportunity in your department that would fit your career path. If you cannot have more information from the job offer, restudy carefully the job description and read between the lines to understand how challenging your job will be and how much you will learn in comparison with the position you currently hold.
5. Will the new job be satisfying?
The salary should not be the only reason for accepting a relocation, study how much you foresee yourself liking the job. When making so many changes at the same time, liking what you do is crucial.
When changing jobs, there is always a risk that you will not like the job, understand how this job will fit you, are you a front or a back-office person, are you someone independent or with need for support. Here again try to read between the lines. You can also connect with people on LinkedIn who have worked for the company, in some occasions you can even find people who have worked in the same position you will. Connect with those people and ask the right questions.
6. Do I think I will have a good relationship with my new boss?
The main reason for employees to quit their job is because of their relationship with their boss, when accepting to relocate for a new job, ensure that you spend a minimum amount of time speaking with your boss either through the job interview, or asking to have a phone call with your boss. Through some conversations and questions like what is your vision, how do you implement your strategy, what are your current challenges, you will already understand how your boss sees things and the type of personality she or he has. One personality does not fit all, so from your previous experience, know what type of boss helps you grow as an employee and what type of support you need.
7. Will my husband find a job in our new location?
Husband, spouse, will your significant other have some place in the new environment, will she or he be able to find a job easily, will he or she integrate in the culture easily (food, language, social interaction etc.). In the event, you have children, the same questions will need to be asked. How much will that take from them to follow you in this new adventure. What would they need to be happy? Will the school fees be higher, would there be family in the neighborhood where you plan on living, as many questions you get answered before your departure, as many unforeseen events you will be able to control when they happen?
10. What is my backup plan if the new gig does not work out?
The last question, I would like you to think about before deciding on relocating to a new place, is what would you do, in case something does not go as planned? What will you do if you don’t feel at ease in your new location, if the culture does not fit your habit and you have a hard time integrating? What will you do if your relationship with your boss is a little difficult, what will you do if you don’t like your job, or if the opportunity you expected does not happen.
Have a back up plan or know what you will be doing in case something happens. The best way to feel more comfortable with any possible challenges that will happen with your relocation is to have savings that would cover any time off that you will need to take in case you need to rechange anything in your location.
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