We all want to be the best versions of ourselves. For employees, pursuing that goal often means searching for jobs that offer exciting projects, room for growth, and learning opportunities. For companies, aiming to be the best in the market might mean investing in high-performing industry leaders or diversifying a team to improve their critical thinking and problem solving skills. In both cases, there’s one strategy that can help all parties reach their lofty goals: relocation.
Be Open to Great Opportunities
There are times in a person’s life when relocation is simple. For example, early in my career, my wife and I agreed that we could allow my career to flourish, wherever that required us to live. As a result, we made several significant moves (from the East Coast to the West Coast and back again) in pursuit of career advancements. But at a certain point, our life situation changed, and our priorities became keeping our kids in one place to finish their schooling and living near family. So we committed to one location and accepted the tradeoff that I would have fewer opportunities for advancement.
Employees often have a window of opportunity when relocation is feasible, and it’s a good idea to take advantage of that opportunity while it’s available. Accepting a new job in a new market can not only help with upgrades in title and salary, but it can also help you gain new experiences that will help your career down the line. If your dream job opens up in a city you’d never considered, relocation is often a small price to pay in exchange for the dividends it can pay for your life and your career.
Change is Never Easy
Studies show that changing jobs is one of life’s most stressful events, and when you add in a geographic relocation, it is understandable that many candidates balk at the pressure. However, it’s important to remember that a relocation can be a stepping stone to your long-term goals. When I relocated away from my extended family to the West Coast, I understood that I was making temporary sacrifices to advance my career. Ultimately, those moves made me better at my job and provided great life experiences for my family and I -- and when it was time to put down roots, I came back to my hometown with no regrets about the time I spent away. Relocating might seem scary, but regretting what might have been if you’d taken the leap is just as scary.
The Benefits Go Both Ways
Companies who are looking to optimize their teams can also benefit from looking outside their market. Bringing on employees from other regions can add fresh perspectives, infusing a company with new ideas and problem-solving strategies. They can also bring with them connections and business development opportunities from their market that a company would not have had access to otherwise. These are just a few of the ways that out-of-market candidates can add value to companies who are willing to invest in them.
There is no risk to keeping an open mind, considering opportunities as they come, and remembering that while change can be scary, it can also be incredibly rewarding, personally and professionally. Relocation is a major life change that may seem daunting. But in many cases, it can be the key to unlocking life-changing career opportunities.