Relocating for work is not a decision to be made lightly even if you find your dream job in a place far from home. You will need to spend a large sum of money to reestablish yourself in a new place and sometimes, employers do not shoulder relocation costs.

If you recently got a job offer that will require you to relocate, here are some things for you to consider:

Negotiate

If the company made the initial offer due to your skill set, you have the power to negotiate the job terms. Even if they said they won’t pay for relocation, don’t be afraid to ask about it when they offer the job and discuss the pay. Ask if the company can reimburse you in some way so you don’t have to shoulder a heavy moving bill.

You should also ask if the company offers relocation services to help make your move easier. They may offer transportation, job and school placement for your family and help in finding a place to rent.

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Another area to negotiate is the exchange rate of your salary. Many assumed that if you are hired in US and when you moved to Singapore / Malaysia / China / India, you’ll be paid in USD.

Not true! It doesn’t make business sense due to taxation (or add up in the account books) to pay you in USD. They may pay you in equivalent (or hopefully a little more) back home or they may stick to the average local hire pay.

Know how much it takes to move

When you move you have to consider the job offer, the city you have to move into and the extra expenses you will have to deal with.

It is a very romantic and exotic idea to move to another country but if you will end up having to spend more than your moving budget and the job does not offer you good benefits in the long run, you should reconsider.

Not only in the monetary sense. Moving abroad can take a toll on your emotions. Check that you are able to leave everyone behind to start a new adventure. Sure, there’ll be homesickness but life is so much tougher if you let your emotions prevent you from making new friends.

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Research

When it comes to relocating, you must do your research. Check out what is in the neighbourhood, how much you can save from your paycheck and the cost of living in the area.

The best way to research is to reach out to the expatriate community that is already living there. They are usually more than happy to point out the mistakes they made when they first moved over to the new location.

Remaining in contact with family or friends

Moving to a new place for work is a great way to put your skills to the test. You will be able to meet new people, learn new things about your industry and improve on what you can do.

But, relocating can also mean that you will lose touch with your family and long-time friends from back home and be exposed to a new way of life. See what avenues are available to you so you won’t feel like you are leaving everything behind when you relocate.

PS. Clicking the Like button on Facebook doesn’t constitute as staying in contact. Try scheduling Facetime calls once a week or once every 2-3 week.

Ask your Family and Friends

Finally, before you decide on whether it is good to relocate for work, you should ask your family if they are ok with it or not. If you have a partner, he or she should have a crucial vote on the relocation.

Take them with you when you look at the community you intend to move to and what opportunities are available to them. If they won’t be able to get great opportunities at the place you intend to move to for work, they will find it difficult to adjust and be unhappy.

You should also have a backup in case your first job offer doesn’t turn out well. Speak to your family and friends on how long you need to wait to see if you enforce an exit plan.

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Conclusion

When you find your dream job and discover you need to move far away for it, think carefully before jumping to it immediately. You must consider everything that will be affected by relocation, from your family’s happiness to your long-term career.

If you did your research and see that everything will turn out great, then go for it. If not, don’t stop looking for your dream job because you may end up finding it without needing to move. Good luck!

To dig into more of my relocation experiences, you may find these interesting to read:

I Used To Be Countryist

5 Surprising Things We Take For Granted In Singapore (I never knew until I live overseas)

Temporarily Taking Your Career Abroad: Things to Consider


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9 replies on “Is Relocation A Good Move For You?

  1. What an informative post on what you need to know about relocating, Kally. So agree staying in contact doesn’t just constitute a Like on Facebook. Maintaining relationships is about making time to talk and catch up with each other’s lives. I also think it’s important to ask your employer if the relocation will be permanent – sometimes some staff are needed in a certain location for a few months or years, and they might get moved again at some point – and once again you need to take into account how much that will cost you financially, relationship-wise and how that will affect your personal well-being.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for raising that point, Mabel.

      The problem is that most employers will not be able to commit with the volatile economy these days. I have been lucky where relocation happens when I’m a pioneer in setting up new campuses so the position is positively permanent unless I do something wrong.

      But I also heard of stories where one relocate with a promising position with a huge company, only to have the department closed within a year (outsourced to third parties) and he was repatriated to his home country. Then such stories are far and a few.

      Mostly, companies who relocate staff will signed a 2 to 5 years contract to have them stayed on in their host countries.

      The biggest issue is when the host country changes their foreigners policy, making it hard or impossible to renew their work permit. That’s when even the company and incumbent are willing to stay longer, they will still have to repatriate home.

      Like

      1. Relocation ultimately costs the company a lot of resources, and employers are confident opening up in a new place will be a long-term thing, they’d most likely want long-term staff to see it up and running. For many of us, relocation is another chapter in our lives and it can open up many opportunities.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Kally,
    I`m back online. :o)
    There are no dream jobs, except the one you create for yourself. The rest is always just wage slavery.
    Locate for your children, (extended family is important), they only get one shot at development, too.

    Good to see you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey! It’s so good to see you again! I’m overly positive about dream jobs because I have been in 2 of such jobs in my career. I am so in love that I didn’t want to resign but one of them closed down because my director migrated and I left the other one (my last corporate job) was because I wanted to relocate for family.

      Big hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Research and connecting with expatriates is important when moving to a new country. The culture may be completely different and certain things that are not a big deal in one culture may be frowned upon in another.

    Even if I were to move to a different part of the same country I would do some research.

    Liked by 1 person

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