As you consider where you’d like to practice, there may be multiple reasons for you and your family to move based on the program or opportunity you desire. The prospect of relocation will most likely occur at least once in your career, so you want to plan ahead and consider various aspects of the decision.
Before you accept a new position, ask yourself these relocation questions:
Are we willing to relocate?
Whether you want to move – and if it makes sense for your family – is the first question you’ll need to ask yourself or discuss with your family. A move impacts not only your career but also your life and that of your family’s.
When looking for new opportunities and practices where you can grow, be prepared to have a conversation with your family to ensure they’re open to new communities as well.
Where would we want to go?
Depending on your specialty and for what you are looking, you might have multiple options when it comes to relocating. There also may be specific areas where your specialty and experience are needed. When deciding if you are willing to move, also discuss what cities and regions in which you would want to practice.
If you do not want to practice in a rural area or move to a small town, don’t entertain offers with organizations outside cities or suburbs. If you want to move closer to family, only look at opportunities in that specific region.
You might be recruited or find an opening you cannot turn down even if it’s not in the city or region at which you’re looking. Weigh the pros and cons to know if a move outside of your desired location might be worth it.
What are the benefits of a move?
You don’t want to uproot your family unless the move makes sense and can be a positive experience for everyone. So, how does a move benefit you and your family? Will there be more opportunities for your spouse? Is it a better school district and community for the family? Does the new practice offer better balance, compensation or benefits? Is the move better for your career overall?
The answers to these questions should help you realize if relocation makes sense for your family. If you can find multiple benefits in your new role, it might be time to make the move. However, if the opportunity and new community don’t seem to provide positive changes, there might be another practice out there for you.
What should I ask for in a relocation package?
Relocation assistance can vary greatly between organizations. You should have some support when moving, especially if recruited. Here are a few ways you can expect help in your new role:
Licensing and credentialing
If you plan to move to another state, you may need guidance in getting licensed or receiving credentials in your new state. Ask about resources or see if you can get answers to any questions you may have.
When moving the entire family or moving from one house to another, it can be a big benefit to have movers provided. Short-term housing and realty resources can also help in your initial move and when looking for a home.
Oftentimes, you don’t only have yourself to consider. If you are moving with your spouse and family, you want to make sure they are included in each decision. If your significant other plans to work, see about connections or ways to help them find a job. If you children will be moving schools, you can also ask about school districts or family-friendly communities.
You might be moving to a completely new area, so it is OK to ask about amenities or different aspects of the community. What are the best restaurants? Are there parks and grocery stores nearby? Where do people take their families on the weekend?
Recruiters will most likely guide you through the relocation process, but you can help create a smooth move by knowing what you’d like for yourself and your family in a new role and new area.