You are sitting at work minding your own business when you get a surprising memo from your employer: your company is relocating to another city far away. Your breath catches as you immediately assume you are about to become unemployed, before you realize that the company is inviting you to follow them to the new location. But should you do it?
It's a big decision. Should you pack up all your possessions and move your family to an unfamiliar area, forcing your kids to make new friends and possibly uprooting your spouse from a job that he or she loves?
It Happens All the Time
Most people think that such a thing will never happen to them, but it is not uncommon for companies to do this if they are trying to cut costs (as companies often do) and determine that a relocation would mean lower taxes or a more efficient operation. Ultimately, companies make decisions that is in the best interest of their bottom line, and that often comes at the expense of the employees.
If your employer offers to take you along when they move, you must decide if you would rather relocate or would prefer instead to look for a new job in your current city.
Factors to Consider
There are several practical factors to consider when making a determining on whether to move:
Quality of Life
A new location for the business can have a huge effect on your quality of life. You might end up with a dramatically longer (or shorter) commute, your spouse may struggle to find a new job opportunity resulting in an overall lower household income, the schools may be of a much lower (or higher) quality, and your neighborhood may have a higher (or lower) crime rate than the one you left.
Cost of Living
You may also find after you moved to the new location that there is a big difference in terms of cost of living, which means you'll spend more (or less) on things like rent, utilities, groceries, parking, and other expenses. If it ends up being more expensive to live in the new location, you might be able to argue for a raise from your boss to compensate.
You also have to take into account the impact on your personal life. You'll have to leave family and friends behind. You may no longer go to that house of worship you enjoyed. You may have to leave behind that coffee shop where they knew your order as soon as you walked in because you were there every weekend. You may have to deal with kids who are unhappy because they have left behind all their friends. And your spouse may feel down about leaving their old life behind.
If you do decide to make the move, there are a few online resources you should take advantage of:
This is a free database of rental apartments in the United States. The website includes rent, apartment features, and property features. Some listings even include a photograph, and it's easy to search for properties that fit your needs.
Salary.com Cost-of-Living Calculator
Salary.com offers a cost-of-living calculator that helps you compare the cost of living in one city versus another. This tool calculates how a move to a new city will affect your disposable income. It also lets you know how your salary could be affected by the move since your rate of pay may increase or decrease because of local market factors.
Your spouse can start looking for a new career using job sites like Indeed.com and Monster.com. These sites allow you to sort jobs based on location and industry.