Relocating for a Job

Raleigh! Paris! D.C! Los Angeles! Munich! All places to which you could potentially relocate for a job in your future career.  With today’s global community, companies are expanding their businesses across borders and oceans, and they’re going to be asking/expecting you to expand with them.  Are you ready? Know some of the facts and benefits.

Relocating can be intimidating for a new entrant to the workforce, but it can also be exciting and rewarding.   Here are some tips to help you figure out if you’d be willing to relocate, and the benefits that can come with it. 

  • Travel for an internship

The easiest way to figure out if relocating for a job is right for you is to do it temporarily.  This way, you can test the waters and learn what kind of responsibilities come with moving for a job.  For example, this summer I relocated from Charlotte to Columbus, Ohio, to intern for the Department of Defense.  I learned that I wouldn’t mind relocating, and that most employers have personnel to help with the moving process, such as finding a place to stay, learning more about the area, and getting settled into the city. 

  • Benefits

Many employers offer assistance in relocating.  Besides personnel to assist, some also offer financial assistance for temporary housing, relocation stipends, reimbursement for moving costs, and even discounted rates with contracted local housing communities. 

  • Headquarters

When prospecting potential employers, be sure to consider the location of their headquarter offices.  There is always the potential that they may request you to relocate to those offices eventually, or at least travel there from time to time.  So, if you work for a company in Raleigh, who is headquartered in London, do not be surprised if they move your position across the pond.

  • Mergers

Another consideration is when your current employer acquires or merges with another company, and how that will affect the location of your job.  The best way to keep abreast of this issue is to be aware of the activity within your employer’s industry.  For example, the banking industry has been filled with acquisitions and mergers recently, and company headquarters and office locations are switching and changing constantly.  Be mindful of potential relocations.

  • Study abroad

Another way to get a feel for the experiences in traveling is to study abroad while you’re still in school.  You can learn what it’s like to adjust to new cultures and communities.  This will help you determine if you’re comfortable with moving to a new location, or even just traveling periodically, for a job.

Someone recently gave me advice about relocating and said that she was very willing to relocate for her employer when she first started, so they sent her to five different cities within the past seven years.  Now, as she is ready to settle down and start a family, she has more leverage with her employer in where she would like to start her roots.  While you’re less obligated to many responsibilities, be open to this idea, and the benefits can be really rewarding for you later on. 

And those are just a few tips to keep in mind for your entrance into a highly globalized and diversified workforce.  This is prevalent even in the interviews you will participate in the near future for full-time positions, because one of the many questions employers will ask you is, “Are you willing to relocate?” Know your feelings and opinions about this issue, and let it be known early-on. 

Until next time…

-Rachel Williams

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