In a familiar environment, the routine of going to work and paying bills contributes to a stable and comfortable mindset. When you are exploring relocating your entire life changes, there are so many things to consider. Not only is there a financial decision (pro and con), there is an emotional attachment to friends, family, or community. This familiarity of the ‘known’ may be handcuffing you to average.
We recommend focusing on the big picture and change your focus from a job search to a career transition. Analyze and document everything regarding career and personal needs and wants. Imagine achieving new possibilities. You’ll need to refer to this list when those around you start appealing to your emotions.
As a recruiter, we need to know you are ready to relocate – that the decision has already been made one to three months before applying to positions outside your region. Are you moving FROM or TO something? Are you open to the adventure/exploration of a new community or is it a matter of necessity? Is a little green space important to you or is a career in urban Canada your preference? Is quality of life important? Are you looking to slow down the rush hour to a rush minute? You need to know the answers to these questions before you contact a recruiter – you need to be certain that you want to move TO your future. If you approach a career opportunity in a different community or province with the attitude of “I can always move back” or “I will move now and my family follow in 18 months”, you are truly setting yourself up for failure.
Your reasons for relocating should be (in this order):
- Adventure / exploration / geography
- Quality of life at and outside of work
- Major responsibilities and challenges of a position
- Career growth and future marketability
As recruiters, we have a saying “if nothing changes, everything will remain the same”. Career transition and/or relocation are often the biggest decisions people make. As humans, we are trained to resist desires and risks assess ‘everything-to-death’ before we make a decision. What we know is, generally, most people only have a finite supply of decision making power. Therefore, when two to four stakeholders assemble on each side of a decision (new employer, hiring manager, HR staff, and spouses, parents, friends, etc.), the timelines expand, things get diluted, and interest depletes. Career Transition and Relocation is exhausting and can easily take its toll. Once people are mentally depleted, they are likely to make trade-offs, compromises, or become reluctant to even make a decision at all.
Often relocation will allow an individual to remain in an industry of choice or to explore a new sector. You will make strategic connections and meet new individuals from across the nation, which will give you the opportunity to learn and experience more. Yes, there is always a risk involved with every decision – in a relocation scenario, both you and the employer are gambling on success. To use a common cliché – “your attitude will determine your altitude”.
You and your significant other(s) need to become ‘relocation ready’. Delaying discussions within family unit until an interview or offer is made is discouraged. Applying for positions in a different geographic area without prior discussion and buy-in from your significant others not only creates unnecessary tension, it destroys your credibility with the recruiter and the potential employer. When speaking with a recruiter or an employer, you first need to sell your relocate-ability. We can only accurately present your knowledge, skills, ability, competencies and community fit for a position when we have caught your ‘quality world’ vision for career transition in a different geographic area.
Someone who is out-of-shape can do a quick sprint, but they collapse soon after and suffer the consequences. Review your career and relocation options as you would train for a marathon – with time, commitment, and dedication to review all the factors that affect your career, family values, and community.
You may consider adding Mobility, Relocation or Destination Coaching to support your relocation. These new services are invaluable, as they offer an element of comfort.