In the past decade, I have had the opportunity to work with companies from around the world, largely due to technology. Although some of the work was remote at first, there were extended periods of time where relocation was demanded of me. However, experiences working in South America and Europe did more to teach me the advantages of relocating for a job, even if the change was unsettling at first.
Here are some advantages discovered, which you can consider the next time a company asks you to relocate for work or you are asked to relocate in order to accept a job.
Learning new business and cultural perspectives
If you are caught up in the daily grind/regimen of taking care of kids, going to work, coming home to take care of kids again, and paying bills, it is very easy to believe “this is the only world that exists.” It is very easy to get caught up in the political and economic issues you deal with.
You will only learn after removing all of the stimuli that teaches you what “defines your world” that you start to realize new perspectives on how to manage household and work at the same time. More so, your children will benefit from learning new perspectives.
At the end of the day, you and your children will be better prepared for a global economy by uprooting and living somewhere else. You may find the new state or country you live in to be a better “world” than the one you just left. Your children will grow to be wiser and more emotionally mature given their exposure to all the different cultures.
Possibly make more money (depends)
Economic overhead of each city, state, and country differs. If you are being paid a salary based on a high economic overhead and you are asked to relocate to a city, state, or country that is cheaper to live in, you will end up making more money.
For example, I live in New York City which is the 2nd most expensive place to live in the United States. In the last decade, I had relocated for work in South America but did not take a pay cut. I found the healthcare, rent, food, and transportation to be just as efficient. It was also considerably less expensive.
Consider this, for example, if you are in the USA and asked to move to one of the cheapest cities to live in. Some employers may aim to pay you less after relocating you (a shady move), so do your research on the cost of living in your new location.
Note: Also keep in mind the reverse scenario, if you are asked to go from a cheaper place to a bigger, more expensive city. Visit Expatistan for a global cost of living converter.
Increase your job security
Company A is relocating your office from New York City, NY to Albany, Georgia. You know this going from big city life to a small, one-horse town. In fact, the company may be making this move in order to see which staff stays or goes. It is company move where employee loyalty is tested and those not looking to move decide to stay in New York City. But you make the move south to Georgia with Company A.
What just happened? More than likely you just showed a company that you are willing to go where the job takes you and that the company needs come first. Maybe you were thinking about getting out of NYC anyway but that is irrelevant.
You increased your job security by making the move with the company to a new location to start from scratch. You saved the company money on hiring and training new staff, plus you are now bringing with you the intellectual property from the company to share with the new staff in Albany, Georgia. The relocation may be unsettling for your kids and you for the first year. But you have a company that will hold on to you for a long time.
Increase your job opportunities
When you relocate to a new city you are coming into a new place with a wealth of knowledge no one else possesses. You come in with your knowledge of business practices that differ from your previous location. And such a thing makes you more attractive to companies than the person who has lived and worked in the same place for his or her entire career.
Some interesting things I had discovered over the last decade, as a New Yorker who relocated for work and then came back again:
- There is no such thing as a “permanent” relocation.
- Where you work and live is a matter of choice.
- Being the new face in a new place makes you a more attractive hire.
- Being a global thinker makes businesses want to keep you around longer.
- The knowledge gained from relocating helps you get work.
We live in a time where anyone can work for any business and do so from anywhere. If you had relocated for work you learn things about companies, people, and how job markets differ that help you stay employed and discover more opportunities.
The ultimate advantage to relocating
Perhaps, one of the most interesting things I learned working briefly in Denmark, an extended period of time in Colombia, and traveling around the United States for a job (literally having no home address during that time):
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” - Mark Twain
In a business world that is forever changing, connected, and becoming more progressive, that simple quote sums up why such information is priceless!