Should You Move Out of State for a Better Job?

Is it Worth It?

You like where you live. Maybe you’ve already bought a house and your kids are enrolled in a great school. But you don’t like your job, the people you work with, your boss, or some combination of all three. You could also use a pay raise.

You’ve tried searching for a different job locally, but nothing seems right. But then you hear about a great job opportunity. The problem? It’s in a totally different state.

It can be hard to decide if a new job is worth moving for. Here are a few things to keep in mind before accepting that out-of-state job offer.

What will you gain?

The first thing you need to figure out are the benefits that moving offers. For instance, you’ll like your job more, you’ll work at a company with opportunities for advancement, you’ll get higher pay, etc. Consider neighborhoods and, if you have kids, school districts, too. It’s important to think about not only your career, but also your family and social life when you’re moving.

Research the company where you’ll be interviewing. You want to make sure there are opportunities for advancement, and that you’ll like working there. You don’t want to make a big move only to end up disliking your new job. Check out sites like for reviews from people who have worked there before, and if you know anybody in the same type of position, ask them how they like it.

What will you lose?

We’ve already established you don’t like your job. But what do you like about where you live? If it’s because you’re close to family or living in a really great school district, is the increased pay and career potential worth the move? Also look into how your 401k is doing, if you have one. Many employers will only let you keep a certain percentage of the funds they matched until you’ve hit a target number of years working at the company.

If you have a spouse, ask them how they feel about the move. If they’re a stay-at-home parent, they may already have a routine they don’t want to tear themselves away from. And if they’re also working, a big move means they’ll need to find a new job as well. Make sure they can also find a place with great opportunities.

How does your potential pay match up to the cost of living?

You might get a large pay increase, but if you move from a small town to a big city, expect living expenses to increase as well. This covers everything from rent and utilities to gas and even some food prices. Visit the place you plan on moving before you make your decision to check out prices and the feel of the city if you can. And if you can’t, be sure to research the cost of living online.

Also, make sure to ask the new company if they handle relocation expenses. If they don’t, a big move can be expensive. Research to see which moving expenses are tax deductible.

Have a plan B, and C, and D and….

Even with all of these precautions, it’s still possible to end up hating your new job. There are some variables you just can’t account for. So, research other, similar companies in the area. Figure out if the company will help you move back to your original area if things don’t work out. You don’t need 700 backup plans, but it’s smart to have some escape routes handy in case your dream job doesn’t pan out.

Have you ever moved out of state for a new job? How did it go? Let us know in the comments section below!

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