5 Factors to Consider Before Relocating for a Job

Many employers are reducing or freezing their company-paid relocation programs.

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[See How to Conduct a Long-Distance Job Search.]

4. Who else would need to relocate? It's much easier (and cheaper) for an individual to relocate than it is for an entire family, especially one with children and two working spouses. "Is it fair to yank kids out of school or ask a spouse to quit a job?" ponders Cohen. That depends on several considerations, such as your spouse's career goals, your kid's ages, and how invested your family is in the local community.

Some companies offer outplacement services for a relocating spouse, but Zugec recommends waiting to ask about this until you have a firm offer. If you're working with a recruiter, they may have information about what the company has offered to new hires at a similar level (plus, the fact that they've hired a recruiter shows their investment in finding a highly qualified candidate.) Either way, she says, you can certainly "do your research beforehand and see what competitors are doing on that front."

5. Is telecommuting a possibility? Before relocating yourself and your family, consider whether you might telecommute instead of physically reporting to an office. Often, that depends on the culture of the organization. "If you're interviewing with a Big Four consulting firm, telecommuting is a way of life," says Cohen. "People are all over the country because their clients are all over the country, so it really doesn't matter where you're living. But where it's not familiar to the organization and if you're an unfamiliar commodity, then requesting that consideration could be too much for an organization to understand." That said, your spouse may be able to telecommute to his or her current job instead of searching for a new one, which could help ease the transition financially.