One of the biggest decisions many professionals take in their career is not just whether to take that great job opportunity, but is it the right thing to do to move lock, stock & barrel to the other part of the country (or continent!) that the new job demands.
On one side – limiting career progression to the commuting distance from your home can be very restrictive to your career in the long-term; whereas a full job relocation often means leaving behind your friends, family and the standard of living you’re accustomed to (whether that’s a good thing or not!). Relocation is a massive step to take but for the brave it significantly increases the scope and volume of job opportunities available.
The worst-case scenario can be if the move quickly turns sour. I recall a situation some years ago where a senior manager was moved 150 miles as a result of an office closure; but 6 months later the company opted to exit the UK market entirely – making it’s entire workforce redundant. This particular chap was left with the scant consolation of 3 months’ salary; the legal minimum as his notice period under his contract of employment. Fortunately he did find another good opportunity soon after which worked out, but the decision to relocate followed by the redundancy situation left a sour taste in the mouth.
If you are single and living in rented accommodation, relocation is relatively simple; but for parents with families and mortgaged properties the amount of effort to relocate can be significant.
One way around this is a “partial relocation”. This is where the individual will typically reside at the new place of work during the working week for a period of 3-6 months, going home at the weekend. Although not an ideal situation, it prevents a rushed, full-scale immediate relocation of a family and allows the individual to weigh up the new job and also scout the local area to identify the best place to live. 12 month rentals can also be a great “half-way house” giving flexibility whilst settling into a new role and location.
Relocation is also a massive upheaval for families. If you are blessed with children, securing appropriate schooling can take time and partners may also need to relocate careers.
Many companies, particularly corporate organisations have far-reaching relocation assistance packages as part of remuneration offers; and can take a significant amount of cost and hardship out of relocation.
For the right individual, it can be the catalyst for a great new world of career progression and challenges – but before opting for relocation remember to weigh up both the physical and emotional costs of a move.