9 Signs It’s Time to Relocate for Work

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It’s perfectly natural to have concerns about relocating for work. It’s a big decision and you don’t want to be left second-guessing your choice. Fear not, as we’ve outlined 10 sure-fire indicators it’s time to relocate for work. Revamp your resume one last time, pack up your laptop and the rest of your belongings, and set off for a more lucrative locale.

1. Companies in your field are closing.

When the Big 3 automakers (GM, Ford, Chrysler) laid off tens of thousands of workers between 2006 and 2008, many Detroit natives decided it was time to get out of Dodge (so to speak). Industry shifts aren’t always so obvious, though. Read the trade journals and stay up to date on local news. If you see companies in your industry closing down or moving to a new region, that could be the first sign you need to relocate for work.

2. The market is saturated with people in your line of work, as evidenced by long waiting lists, or scarce job listings.

If your job prospects look bleak and virtually everyone in your graduating class earned the same degree as you, the job market could be saturated. For example, finding a teaching job on Long Island often means working as a substitute for lower pay to get a foot in the door in a certain district, then being added to a mile-long waiting list. Yet, a move to upstate New York or south to Florida, could yield fantastic opportunities and a lower cost of living.

3. The unemployment rate in your state is higher than the national average.

Maybe it’s not just your industry suffering from bleak employment prospects. Increase your odds of finding employment by moving to Nebraska, North Dakota, or Utah – the three states with the lowest unemployment rates, according to recent Department of Labor Bureau statistics.

4. You work in a field rich with hot prospects in another city.

In areas where top firms are recruiting talent with your unique skill set, you may command a higher salary, impressive benefits, and even have some of your relocation costs covered by the company. If you’re struggling to find a job in the tech sector, move to Austin. This Texas city, and other parts of the state, report that 94 percent of tech startups are struggling to find the talent they need, a Silicon Valley Bank report said.

5. You haven’t had a promotion in three years or more.

If you’re stagnating in your current job with no room for advancement, a change of scenery could breathe new life into your career. Keep in mind, it’s standard to wait 18 months to two years for a promotion. But if three years or more pass, especially if you’re getting passed up, evaluate your skillset and performance while exploring options outside the company.

6. You’ve sent out 50 or more resumes with no interviews.

If you feel you’ve left no stone unturned in your job search, it’s time to cast a wider net. You can take a conservative approach and apply for jobs in other cities before moving, but know that employers may consider local candidates first. Your dream job could be one move away.

7. You can take your current salary with you to an area with a lower cost of living.

If your company offers to help you relocate to a new area with a lower cost of living – at your current salary – consider saying, “Yes!”

If a move will mean a pay cut, but your new home has a lower cost of living, use a cost-of-living calculator to determine if you will come out ahead.

8. You’re ready and willing to accept a change of lifestyle.

Some cultural changes are less jarring than others. If you’re moving from one large U.S. city to another, you may acclimate quickly. On the other hand, moving from a city to a rural area, or the other way around, brings a whole new lifestyle.

9. You have nothing holding you back.

It’s easier to pick up and leave if you don’t have to worry about the move affecting a spouse and children. “It’s a good idea if you have your heart set on a job that’s in a particular geography and if your lifestyle allows a bit more flexibility,” Alexandra Levit, author of “Blind Spots: The 10 Business Myths You Can’t Afford to Believe on Your New Path to Success” said in a Forbes article.

If a majority of signs point to packing up, the odds are in your favor. In a survey conducted by MyMove.com, 80 percent of respondents who said they relocated for work said they had “positive feelings” about the decision. So is relocating for a job the right move for you?

Featured image by Dan Reid/Flickr

About the author

Dawn Allcot has moved six times and has written hundreds of articles about moving, including how to move on a budget, with kids, with pets, and without losing your mind. In her spare time, Dawn enjoys bicycling, shopping, and building memories with her husband and two children.