You’re married with children. You’ve been working at your job for the past three years. Out of the blue, a company offers you a job in a city that’s thousands of miles away. The salary is significantly more than your current salary. The offer is so lucrative that you’re tempted to accept the job immediately.
That could be a mistake. Think about your life rather than just the salary. Ask yourself these 10 questions before you relocate for a new job:
1. Am I happy with my profession?: Accepting a job in a profession that’s not suitable for your long-term future is a mistake. You should be happy emotionally, get a lot of satisfaction in your profession, and have the skills to succeed in your profession. A raise will not help you in the long run if you’re unsuccessful in your new job.
2. What are my long-term prospects?: Peer into the crystal ball to find your profession’s long-term prospects. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics has extensive information on the occupations projected to have the best employment growth, the occupations that are projected to have the worst employment growth, the industries that are projected to have the best salary growth and the industries that are projected to have the worst salary growth.
3. Do I know enough about the job?: Many people have been told their job will entail certain specific tasks, only to find they are assigned tasks they‘re unprepared for. It’s also common for an employee’s job responsibilities to change when he or she gets a new supervisor. Seek an employment contract before accepting the job.
4. Do I know my prospective colleagues well enough?: One difficult colleague or supervisor can make the workplace intolerable. Don’t ignore warning signs during the interview process, such as a supervisor who doesn’t appear to be on the same page as the high-level official who offered you the job.
5. Do I know the company well enough?: Research your prospective new employer very thoroughly before accepting a job offer. Find out the company’s reputation in the industry and whether its financial future is secure.
6. How will this job affect my spouse’s career?: Your family income could be adversely affected by the new job, or your spouse might not be able to find a new job in your new community. Find out whether the community has adequate opportunities in your spouse’s occupation.
7. How will this job affect my family?: Requiring your children to make new friends is very unfair. Find out the quality of education offered in various school districts in your prospective new community. Consider whether your children’s long-term emotional and intellectual growth will be stunted by moving.
8. What is the economic climate?: Scrutinize the local business newspaper to learn as much as you can about your prospective community’s economic climate. Ask the local Chamber of Commerce for statistics. Kiplinger ranks the cities with the best job growth and the best cities to start a business. The best job growth cities include Phoenix, Atlanta, Nashville, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Portland, Raleigh and San Antonio.
9. Will I be happy there?: An urban community might be unsettling for a longtime resident of a rural area and vice-versa. Find out what kinds of amenities the community offers. Scrutinize housing prices and availability because things can change rapidly. Phoenix, for example, has recently had a sudden surge in prices and a supply shortage. An apartment could be the solution. Services such as ForRent.com can help you find desirable apartments.
10. Are there better jobs here?: Alexandra Levit, who wrote “Blind Spots: The 10 Business Myths You Can’t Afford to Believe on Your New Path to Success,” told Forbes magazine that “it may not be the smartest approach to uproot your entire family for a job you could probably find locally with a little more persistence.”