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08/26/08
Relocating For A Job
Filed under: Interview, Career
Posted by: John Hadley @ 10:44 am

Here’s a question I received from someone who had received his first job offer after a layoff, struggling with whether to consider relocation

I interviewed for a position, and the manager sent me email asking, if he made me an offer, would I accept it?  I responded: “I am very interested. What are the terms of the offer?”

My concern (and apparently his, too) is that he wants me to relocate.

I have lived here for close to 30 years. My two kids are going to college only a 45 minute car ride from our home. We are close and we see each other regularly. On the other hand, the job is very good: the position is very good, the work challenging and exciting, secure, opportunity for growth.

I have not been made an official offer. His email was the opening of the negotiations and it seems like he doesn’t want to go through the effort of a formal offer, if I already know I would not move. The truth is, I don’t know. It is not out of the question for me. It’s a two-hour plane ride from where I live, so, it’s not like I am going to the ends of the earth. My son and I are particularly close. He is already feeling discomfort… only at the thought.

So this is the classic dilemma. Family and familiarity of my sorroundings vs. new sorroundings away from close members of my family.

What do you think?

My response (Feel free to weigh in with your own comments)

You can always turn an offer down, so until you have the formal offer, there’s no problem fully exploring the opportunity. It’s not a fair question to ask if you would accept an offer, without all the details of the offer, so it’s fair for you to express strong interest in the opportunity, and use that as a chance to explore fully what will help you make a decision.

For example, will he bring you back up for further discussion face-to-face, and also to spend a day with a realtor looking around the areas that would be a reasonable commute from the office to get a feel for that? (That’s something I did on an interview in Indiana once, and the end result was that I surprised myself with how impressed I was with the area & lifestyle for both myself & my family.)

For example, is he open to the idea of you doing a partial tele-commute, so that you could work from home, say, 1-2 days a week and work 3-4 day weeks at the home office (living in an apartment or such in the area during those days)? Or working a compressed week like 4-10 hour days, so that you could come back home 3 days a week?

These things are difficult to explore with him via email, so I would use the email to set up a date/time you could discuss the opportunity over the phone or in person.

In any event, don’t let the fact that it’s the first possible opening you’ve seen, and fear of looking, drive your decision. Sit down and weigh carefully the pros and cons of the opportunity (outside of the location) to see if it really fits what you want exclusive of that problem.

8 Responses to “Relocating For A Job”

  1. Nancy B Says:
    My approach is a bit different. There are places in the country that I am not interested in living and there are wide expanses that I am neutral. If I knew that the position was in a location that was outside my comfort zone… I wouldn’t explore the position. While you are expending energy on this “maybe I might” position, something closer to home may be moving on without you.
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