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Out-of-State Job Offer: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Relocating for a job is a daunting proposition, and it comes with both excitement and challenges. Identifying the pros and cons of relocation can leave you tossing and turning at night. Before you pack your bags, uproot your entire life, and transfer to an entirely different corner of the country, it’s important to give some serious consideration to both the logical and emotional factors at play in your decision-making process.


Here are some questions you definitely need to ask yourself before making the move.


Do the pros outweigh the cons? Or the other way around? HELP.

This question is THE big one. Sit down with a notepad and make your pros and cons list. Perhaps you’re excited about shaking things up by exploring a new city. But,you’re also dreading moving away from your loved ones and that cute cafe that knows your daily order by heart. Getting the positives and negatives into separate columns can offer some much-needed clarity. While it might not always answer your question, it will help give you the framework you need to make the decision.


Why are you attracted to this role?

When you’re considering moving for a specific job, it should be amazing, maybe even a life-changing opportunity. Think about what it may mean for your future, as well as your present. People tend to be happier and more successful when their jobs play to their strengths and keep them challenged. Ultimately, if you’re struggling to think of reasons why this job is a good fit for you, that might be a clear indicator that your heart isn’t in it enough—so you probably shouldn’t pack up and move your entire life.


Will this improve my life?

It’s important to ask yourself if this move will greatly improve your life—even outside of the office. Maybe the public transportation is better and your commute will be a little less horrible. Perhaps the climate really appeals to you and the city offers a lot more organic dining options. Whatever it is, make sure that you evaluate all the things that are important to you—and not just the benefits of the position.

If you have a family, you also need to think about how a move will affect your partner, will their lives be drastically different? Will it be for better or for worse? Make sure to consider everyone who will be packing their bags.



There’s no way around it—moving for employment is a HUGE transition. Even for those who are thrilled with new opportunities and uncertainty, a transition can be worrisome—but, for creatures of habit who thrive in their normal routines, this can be more than overwhelming. Do you have a friend who lives in the new location? Are you an extrovert by nature?


Do you generally roll with the punches and get energized by a new challenge? Take some time to reflect on your previous experiences and how you’ve coped with big changes in the past. Getting a gauge for how you typically respond to big life events like this will help you determine if your relocation would be cause for excitement or dread.


Money, Money, Monay, Monaaaaaay!

You knew finances were going to come up at some point.  Does the position you’re considering offer a sizeable bump in pay? Or is it more of a lateral move when it comes to salary? While career happiness isn’t all about the money, being compensated well contributes to a feeling of appreciation and respect. Even if that new salary looks great, don’t neglect to consider the bigger picture. Perhaps this new city has a significantly higher cost of living, or your new transportation needs will take a bite out of your monthly expenses. Maybe you’ll be down to one income while your partner searches for work. Does your new company offer relocation? Make sure to ask for the specifics about what they do and don’t cover.  Factor all those considerations before jumping in with both feet and going after a bigger paycheck.


Escape Route

No one wants to think negatively. But mapping out a backup plan doesn’t necessarily make you a pessimist—it makes you prepared. What if you hate your new job or you just can’t get used to life in the new city? What if that trendy startup you moved to work for suddenly tanks? You can’t plan for everything—and you don’t necessarily want to assume the worst. But if you’re feeling anxious about the move, figuring out what you’ll do if things don’t work out can provide some added peace of mind.


Determining whether you should move for a job can be a challenge, and you may be wrestling over what choice is the right one for you. But taking these things into consideration should give you lots to think about. Now, if only they’d pack your boxes for you!


Last Updated: August 8, 2017
About the author

    Alexandra Hoeflicker

    Alex is a Tucson-raised, Austin-based brunch aficionado. She enjoys a solid cup of coffee and browsing used record stores.