Each episode of HGTV’s show, House Hunters International, shows an individual or entire family moving halfway across the world to some exotic destination. Sometimes this move is a dream-come-true, sometimes it’s stress inducing, but always it brings unexpected challenges.
Many new college graduates will be relocating to begin new careers, and whether they’re moving to another country or to another state, the key is preparation. If you’re planning or considering relocating, the Forbes article, “20 Questions to Ask Yourself before You Relocate for a Job,” is a good checklist of issues to consider.
Cost of Living
One of these issues to consider when relocating is how the cost of living in this new area compares to your current standard of living. Use CNN Money’s Cost of Living Calculator to compare salaries. For example, if Sheila currently makes $30,000 in Springfield, Missouri, and is relocating to Seattle, Washington, she needs to earn $40,023 to maintain her standard of living. The main reason for this $10,000 difference is that prices in general are higher in Seattle, but especially housing. The cost of housing in Seattle is 86% higher than in Springfield.
If you’re wanting to relocate, but don’t already have a job at your destination, then read Dr. Katharine Hansen’s advice on what to do and not to do in a long-distance job search. It’s all about networking, networking, networking, and LinkedIn is a wonderful tool for this. Check out the alumni section of LinkedIn, because MSU alumni may be living in the area to which you’re relocating. Also take a look at LinkedIn’s Jobs for Students and Recent Graduates.
Connections to the Area
It’s important to establish a geographic connection with your destination area. For example, do you have friends or family living there? Have you visited there often? A concern that many employers have with hiring relocated employees is that those employees won’t adapt to the new area, suffer from homesickness, and will quit their job to return “home.” According to recruiter Jack Young, “When I speak to a candidate and they have lived in only one city their entire lives I see a huge red flag for that candidate being a potential relocation.” (“The Relocation Dilemma – Candidates and Employers Betwixt and Between”)
Top Cities for Entry-Level Positions
Apartment Guide and Indeed researched the top cities with the most entry-level positions, along with average rents for one- and two-bedroom apartments. Click on the image to see the whole infographic showing the results of the study.
Why Americans Are Moving Less
Recent research from the Federal Reserve Board indicates that Americans are moving less because it isn’t economically worthwhile. In his article, “Why Americans Are Moving Less: New Jobs Aren’t Worth It,” Richard Florida discusses this issue in more detail.
Tips for Conducting a Long-Distance Job Search
Relocating is a major commitment, so before you take that huge step, make sure you’re prepared. Do your research, make sure this decision will be a good fit for you (and anyone else who is moving with you), write down all of the pros and cons to relocating, and, worst-case scenario, have Plan B prepared in case the job or relocation doesn’t work out.
If you’re wondering HOW to conduct a long-distance job search, take a look at this article by Alison Doyle.