Considering relocating for work? Ask these 5 key questions!

Ray Inskip, January 25, 2019

So, you have been offered a new job in a new location...

Moving home for a new and exciting role is a fantastic way to relocate to a new town, city or even country, whilst also pursuing your career dreams...However, before you accept a new position and move your whole life, you should take time to consider whether this is the right move for you, both in terms of your professional and personal life. You don’t want to be regretful of your relocation or your latest career move, therefore prior to accepting the job you need to properly investigate your new employer and new location. These are the top 5 key questions you should be asking: 

1. What are the pros and cons of your new position?

Do you actually want to do the job that has been offered, or are you only considering the role because of opportunity to relocate? Lots of people have dreams of living in exotic destinations, however doing a job you hate to achieve this will soon take the shine off the location! An exhilarating part of speaking with a prospective employer is getting to know about your potential new role; make sure you understand the day-to-day reality of what the position will entail. Obtain a clear job description and ensure your employer is willing to fully equip you with what you will need to carry out the role to the best of your ability.

2. What’s the business culture like?

An important part of considering a new role and company is to see what the day to day business culture is like before accepting and moving your whole life to a new part of the world. Some good questions to ask would be; do employees socialise outside of work? What are the communal areas like? Does the business have team building and social activities? Is the culture collaborative and welcoming for new starters? This can also be a good occasion to ask about what potential progression is available at the company and what the company’s business goals are for the future, this will also let you know where your career could go long term.

3. How can a new employer help you acclimatise to a new area?

Moving to a new city or country can be an exciting time in your life, but also extremely worrying and scary! Always ask your new employer whether they offer a relocation package or assistance. Does the company provide any temporary housing, local orientation or guidance about resources in your new location? If you have a family, is there any support available for your partner (spousal support) or children (school search)? A top tip is to ask your new employer if anyone else at the company has previously experienced a similar relocation and whether you are able to speak with previous relocators to gain their perspective.

4. Not just salary, what are the overall benefits?

You have the offer and the salary is good, now what about the benefits…? When moving, especially to a new country, you need to know the full extent of the benefits on offer as different countries deal with packages differently. For example, an assignee moving from the UK may be used to relying on the NHS for their medical needs, however, if relocating to the US the assignee may need to consider how medical costs will be paid (usually via company a company health plan)? Also in Asia, it is common for local employees to be paid on a 13-month basis – will this be the case for an expat? It is essential to determine whether you will be placed on a local or expatriate contract.

5. Is there a relocation package available?

If you are going to move, have you considered the cost element of this? Are you being expected to bear the costs of relocation yourself or will you be receiving assistance from your new employer? Some companies have set relocation packages and policies which cannot be changed. Others will negotiate relocations on an individual basis. If this is the case, as a part of your new job offer you should always see if you can negotiate a deal which will make it affordable for you to move, this is vital as the cost can be astronomical! Flights, shipping of personal effects, destination services and temporary/on-going accommodation are all points to consider.

Good luck!

It is a huge commitment to not only change your job but to also move your whole life to a different location. Before making your final decision, ensure you have spoken with family and friends who may also be affected by your decision to relocate. Sometimes relocations can fail purely based on the unhappiness of loved ones. You should go over the pros and cons of a potential move together. Ultimately, if all parties are all on board, relocation can be a fantastic experience – it could be the best decision you ever made, fulfilling your dreams. However, before you pack your life up and look to move make sure you have completely considered the above. If you have checked all the points and feel certain relocation is the right choice for you, then go ahead! Good luck and enjoy the experience! 

Written by Ray Inskip - Head of Global Moving Services at Alchemy Recruitment Ltd.

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