As unemployment continues to be a major issue across the country, employees are more willing than ever to pull up the tent stakes and move across the state or even across the country for new jobs. Employers often move existing employees to new locations in order to maintain an experienced and trained workforce. A recent study of member companies by Worldwide ERC indicated that the average cost of moving a home-owning employee is approximately $69,000 for a new hire and $90,000 for an existing employee. Many employers pay all or a part of the costs, but employees often have to shoulder significant expenses in order to move for a job. Here are five issues to consider before you agree to relocate.
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Thinking about losing your new job is likely not high on your list of considerations, but it should be. Before deciding to make the move, research the other companies in the new city that hire employees with your skill set. If there are very few, you may find yourself stuck in an area where you won't be able to find a new job in your field without moving again.
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Real Estate Market
Since the recession of 2008, real estate sales have stalled and home values have declined. It may not be as easy as it once was to quickly sell your old house in order to buy a new one. Banks are less likely to extend bridge loans to allow you to purchase before you sell, as the credit market continues to be tight. On top of that, if you are moving from an area with depressed real estate prices to a booming area, you may lose some of the existing equity in your home.
Find out exactly how much your employer is prepared to pay for the move, either in direct costs or a moving bonus. Before accepting, outline all of the costs of the move and ensure that the employer's contributions cover a significant portion of those costs. Even if your new job pays more, it won't benefit you until you recover the out-of-pocket costs of the move.
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You won't be working 24 hours a day, so the type of community you are moving to makes a difference. If you prefer the quiet of the suburbs, moving into a condominium in Lower Manhattan can make your non-working hours unbearable. This is even more important if you are moving a spouse and children with you. Are there activities for kids, green space for walking and recreational facilities, such as movie theaters and concert halls? What are the local schools like? Check out the new city before moving to ensure that it fits with your lifestyle.
Your future with any company isn't a slam dunk, but if you move in order to start a new job, consider the future opportunities to move up. For example, if your current employer wants to move you out to Boise, Idaho to manage the plant, reflect on how that fits in with your goals to be a corporate vice-president five years down the road. Ensure that your career path is aligned with the potential to grow at the new location.
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The Bottom Line
Packing up your life and moving for a new job is a major event, both professionally and financially. Upfront planning and analysis can help keep you from jumping into a situation that can hurt your wallet or your future career track. Be sure that the move benefits you as much as it benefits the employer.