You've gotten the call about a great job offer in a different city. Maybe you've even been through several rounds of interviews. It could be a transfer within your current company to a different office or a dream opportunity with a completely different business. Either way, accepting the job might mean uprooting your family and moving to a new city, possibly thousands of miles away from your current home.
When such an offer is on the table, most of us don't take the decision lightly. We consider the salary, discuss it with our friends and family, and make lists of the pros and cons, which we review at length. But as you're mulling the offer over, there are some things to take into consideration.
Cost of Living
If a big salary bump is what has captured your attention, it may mean absolutely nothing when you factor in the higher cost of living in the new city. You may actually end up losing money on the deal. The opposite could be true. You may think the salary increase is not significant enough to merit the move until you start looking at home prices and taxes in your new city.
In addition to crunching the numbers on expenses like housing costs, you can also determine whether the salary you're being offered is in line with going market rates for that area. Salary.com's free salary report will show you the median salaries for someone in your field in a specific geographic location. CNN has a handy cost of living calculator that will tell you how far your salary will go in various cities across the U.S., while Nomadlist breaks down monthly cost of living info for cities all over the world.
Money is only part of the equation. Before accepting a position that forces you to move, you'll need to make sure the new location features the amenities you need. You may currently live in a suburban area replete with shops, entertainment, and restaurants and the move may take you to a primarily rural area where the nearest amenities are a long drive away. You may be forced to choose between taking a long drive to work each day while living close to amenities or living close to work but not having access to things like organic grocery stores, professional sports teams or Broadway-caliber plays.
If you have children, schools will likely be a large part of your decision. GreatSchools.org issues schools a grade based on test scores, with separate scoring for arts and music, clubs, sports, and world languages taught. You can also read reviews from parents of children currently attending the school.
The local economy is significant for a variety of reasons, but the primary one is potential job opportunities. Once you've moved to an area, you may not want to move again in the coming years, especially once your children are deeply ensconced in the schools. If, for some reason, your job doesn't work out, you'll need access to other opportunities in the area to avoid having to move again.
Basic research will give you information on the types of businesses holding the majority of jobs. City-Data.com can give you detailed information on employers in the area, as well as information about government jobs. You can also conduct a simple web search for details about companies that have their corporate or regional headquarters in your area.
If you've been offered a job opportunity that requires relocation, research can help you identify whether the new location has the amenities and opportunities you want. By learning as much as possible about the opportunity, you can make a fully-informed decision that is the best one for your entire family.