Life is all about change and growth. Sometimes change is easier to adapt to than others, and it is absolutely normal to feel a bit uneasy about big life changes. If your partner has been offered a great job opportunity, but it means you will need to move somewhere else, there are a number of questions you are going to raise before deciding to take the offer.
1. Will you need to give up your job?
Handing in your notice and starting a new job search in the city you will be moving to can be daunting. Depending on the job you have now, it may require a career change. There may be situations where you do not need to give up your current gig though, talk to your employer about working remotely first. If the city you would be moving to is still within fairly easy travel distance (e.g less than a day’s travel), it is worth looking at remote work with regular intervals at the office. For example, a week at the office every month or every other month.
There are also jobs that are entirely remote, where you work from home 100% of the time. You may have to switch jobs, or even careers, but perhaps that isn’t such a bad thing. Take it as an opportunity to explore and learn.
2. How does this affect friends and family?
Do you have any dependents? Not just kids, but elderly parents? Maybe you are very close with your siblings or have a strong group of friends you’d hate to part from. The world is ever more connected and staying in touch, and seeing each other frequently, is not that difficult anymore. Having said that, there are some potential limitations to consider if you are moving far away. If you have kids, that opens up the question around child care as well if your family has been close by and particularly helpful. On the other hand, a change like this will force you to build a new group of friends and contacts and in many ways expands your horizons too.
3. What is the cost of living like in the new city?
The new job seems amazing, and there may even be a substantial pay rise. Consider though whether the majority of the pay rise is going to be spent to cover higher living expenses. Earning $80k in South Dakota is going to go much further than $100k in New York. Housing is the biggest expense, as well as transportation, so have a look at housing prices in your soon to be new city. For transportation, factor in travel costs to come back and visit friends and family, if you are moving quite far from them.
4. What will you do if the move/job doesn’t work out?
Is there a probation period for the new job? What if your partner turns out not to like the job after all. It happens to the best of us, and it is something you can plan for. If there is a probation period, maybe you can stay in your current home town and use the time to job hunt while your partner gets settled in to their new role, and figure out if this is indeed a good long term move. This way you hedge your bets a little, and you have a bit more time before handing in your resignation.
5. Will this move make you both happy?
There is no point moving if one of you will be completely miserable. Be honest with yourself, and with your partner. Ultimately, your relationship should be worth more than any job. If the job is truly worth taking despite it being a real issue for you to cope with, then there must be an intermediate solution you can find together. I’ve known several couples who lived through a long distance marriage, and met up on weekends, or on as many weekends as they managed, as both were working on their careers and neither could move. It can be done, but it is easier if you have a defined timeframe in mind. For example, agreeing to living apart for part of the time for 6 months, or a year. Make an agreement with each other and stick to it. It will help keep you both as happy as possible in this transition phase! On the other hand, if you are neutral to moving, the impact is minimal, and it makes your partner very happy…then consider it! A new adventure awaits you, no matter what you choose.
Would you ever live apart from your partner if one of you had to move for work? I look forward to your thoughts in the comments!