Should You Move To A New Town For A Job?

relocation for jobs movingBy Justin Thompson

In a world where good jobs are hard to come by, more and more job seekers are looking outside of their current cities to find work. According to Worldwide ERC, a workforce mobility association, their member companies spent $10 billion in 2011 on corporate relocation in the U.S. That breaks down to more than 216,000 domestic transfers.

Of those transfers, one-third dealt with relocating new hires, indicating that employers are willing to relocate the right people for the right job. In many cases, relocation can mean new opportunities for not only you, but for your spouse and family as well. And while there may be challenges along the way, the payoff might outweigh the risks.

"I had just resigned from my stable full-time job representing a professional athlete that was preparing for retirement at the end of the year, and I knew I had to make a change before that happened to continue moving forward in my career," says Klint Bradley, owner of promotional marketing supplier Branded.

After doing research to find the hot spots for sport agents, he relocated to West Palm Beach, Fla., after attending Butler University in Indianapolis.

"I grew up on a large working grain and livestock farm in central Illinois, and when I moved to Indianapolis for college ... it was a big step from the country lifestyle I was used to, but home was never far away," Bradley says. "Moving all the way to Florida meant that I wasn't only taking a big risk professionally, having just started my own business, but also personally by leaving behind close friends and family."

Bradley says he found that relocation helped him stay focused on his industry and making connections. Personally, he became more diligent about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. As he's met individuals from across the nation, he's been able to learn a lot of valuable business acumen from their experiences.

"The drive and success I see in these people give me even more drive to go after my dreams with the fervor and confidence my parents encouraged in me," Bradley says. "I think sometimes being in the Midwest, you sink into the mentality of going to work and paying your bills and never getting ahead or moving up the hierarchy. For me, seeing people living a different lifestyle meant they have found balance in their life, and I can find that same balance if I work hard enough."

Bradley suggests that when considering relocation, it's best to focus on the big picture. Determine where your career is going and where your significant other is in her career and figure out what cities you'd consider moving to.

"If you are moving for the position, definitely working with the organization on relocation expenses or having your salary inflated to compensate for the additional expense of relocating is best," Bradley says.

Here, other job seekers share their experiences relocating for their careers:

"When my husband's opportunity for a stint in Silicon Valley became a real option, my own entrepreneurial ventures as a yoga teacher were just getting some traction, and I was at a high point at my 'day job,' still doing the other thing that I love -- paramedicine -- part time and sitting on a managerial project part time as well. Things were really good for me, and he had this amazing opportunity to temporarily relocate with his corporation with 100 percent support, have the Silicon Valley startup experience he'd been eyeing, and still retain our home in Albuquerque, where we know our heart is.

"My take on the relocation: Hold out for a supportive arrangement, and when that's on the table, leap -- even if it seems like everything is as good as it can be where you are, even if you're just then experiencing returns on years of hard work and investment. Create a transition plan. You're going to throw it out the window, but having it will give you a structure at the beginning and a feeling of having a [safety] net during, and the thought you put into it will matter after you throw it out, so make it as if your life depended on it. And then go all in." -- Christine Stump, Alignment Yoga

"I moved to California from New York City because my ex-wife ... came out here with our kids, forcing me to follow her. I've been able to make a huge impact on the place where I work, which is already up 50 percent over last year's revenue and was just named Agency of the Year by a prestigious trade publication. The East Coast/West Coast transition has had some challenges, but that's interesting, too." -- Tom Siebart, vice president of communications, Digitaria

"In 1998, I relocated as a trailing spouse from Florida to Michigan. I found an exceptional job in a short period of time, partly due to the fact that I set a goal for myself of being upbeat and positive and meeting three new people every day. We had two young sons, so our social circle expanded fairly quickly. Some of the best friends I have were met there.

In 2007 -- in the midst of a divorce -- I relocated from Michigan to Virginia. I devoted every waking moment to my job until my sons, then 17 and 19, relocated three months later. I found it very hard to meet people outside of work and with my interests.

"Since the job I moved here to take no longer exists, I am now considering relocation again. Bottom line: It's not easy, but a lot of it is attitude." -- Susan Milhoan, chief operations officer, J. Taylor Associates

"I relocated from Honolulu to Los Angeles for my job; I went from freelance to full time when I moved here. As a single mom, it was a tough yet no-brainer decision, because it was such a huge move. It's the best decision I've made for our two-person family, and we're doing very well in Los Angeles." -- Ally Sperber, account executive, Marketing Maven Public Relations, Inc.

Justin Thompson is a writer and blogger for and its job blog, The Work Buzz. He researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.

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This is almost laughable - why not report on what is REALLY HAPPENING in the job market?? Of course younger workers will relocate but companies today are adverse to pay for relo's..older workers.. laid off have a tougher decision to on the news and the facts - this story is simply blather...

January 16 2012 at 2:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

In the process of selling it ALL and moving kids to South Dakota from January. Got a job offer and going for it!

January 15 2012 at 10:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Moving to LA is a good decision? Get real; high taxes, the state is bankrupt and only the beautiful and rich can survive there.

January 15 2012 at 5:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to 2potters's comment

Obviously you have never experienced the cost of living in the Aloha state...not to mention island fever.

January 15 2012 at 7:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I relocated for my Walmart greeter job

January 15 2012 at 5:21 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Obama Debt: $4.6 Trillion in 2.5 years. Bush Debt: $4.5 Trillion in 8 years, and unemploymet has continued to rise on the colored boys watch.

January 15 2012 at 3:18 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to gustoman35's comment

no matter how many times you say it, it's still pathetic that's the best you can come up with

January 15 2012 at 4:11 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Oh, please...the military moves about every three years for their professions. Every three years, they up-stakes and move to locations around the world, not just across the nation. They leave behind their children's schools, their friends, everything they have come to know. And they learn that each move has advantages and disadvantages. It costs more to live in CA than it does in MS. Some regions of the country have a lot of Catholic churches--others do not. Some public schools are exceptional, others are not worth enrolling your child in.

Quit making every life happening an angst-ridden incident. This is LIFE. It's a challenge. It's an adventure. It's a chance you'd otherwise never have.

Grow a pair, put on your big boy boxers or your grown girl gotchies, and DO IT.

January 15 2012 at 12:21 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to JoanneVLavender's comment

The military are catered to like little children. It's not like it was 40 years ago when soldiers were men. Today they are treated like babies. Everyone has to send them candy bars and comic books and they still whine.

January 15 2012 at 1:47 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to rickirkemper's comment

Who do you think you are !!!?, unless you have worn the uniform in the last ten years you have no Ideal what you are talking about, I was 1984 to 2006!!

January 15 2012 at 2:56 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down

You are a pathetic piece of crap to even say such a comment. Our men don't complain nor do they request anything, it is at our own free will we send those items.

January 15 2012 at 6:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down

Obama Debt: $4.6 Trillion in 2.5 years. Bush Debt: $4.5 Trillion in 8 years, and unemploymet has continued to rise on the colored boys watch.

January 15 2012 at 11:18 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to gustoman35's comment

You spouting your racisim again. Are you going to do it at every AOL Job article? As I said to you before, what have the non "colored" boys and girls in DC done to create jobs and cut the debt? Very little.

January 15 2012 at 2:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ExAstrisScientia's comment

Obama Debt: $4.6 Trillion in 2.5 years. Bush Debt: $4.5 Trillion in 8 years, and unemploymet has continued to rise on the colored boys watch.

January 15 2012 at 3:19 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down

What on EARTH does that have to do with relocating for a job? Do you think repetition of your racist remark lends it more credibility?

January 16 2012 at 12:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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