Sunday, September 12, 2010

Are you willing to relocate for a new job?

Non-clinical jobs in certain industries tend to cluster around specific regions throughout the United States. For instance, there are a number of pharmaceutical companies in the northeast corridor because that's where we find the large majority of pharmaceutical companies. So, if you're living in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, or Massachusetts, you'll probably find a number of potential employers. If you're on the west coast, you'll find a number of companies in California. You'll also find several pharmaceutical companies in other sections of the country (such as Chicago, Indianapolis, Kansas City, etc.), but in those areas you may only find one (or two) potential companies.

So what happens if you live in a region that isn't surrounded by potential employers and you're not able to relocate? Are you willing to move? Suppose you live in Alaska or Hawaii? You may not find too many companies that hire physicians if you're living in certain states. How far will you have to move before you're surrounded by potential employers?

First, I think you need to seriously consider the question: "Are you willing to relocate?" That's a different question from "Are you unable to relocate?" Most people are not willing to relocate, but they're able to relocate. If that's you, then maybe you need to rearrange your priorities. What's more important: your career, or your location? What if a potential employer was also going to provide relocation services? How would that influence your decision?

What if you start a new job in a new city and the job simply doesn't work out? Suppose the company restructures after 6 months and you lose your job. You may also lose your job because you don't meet specific performance standards. The decision to relocate must be made as you weigh the probability of all the potential scenarios that may occur. 

If you're thinking about relocation, make sure to research several different long distance moving companies.   Relocation packages come in a variety of forms, so it's critical that you read all the fine print so that you understand what type of assistance you'll be receiving. In some cases, the relocation assistance is contingent on several actions (for instance, you may need to sell your home before you move, so don't plan on renting it out). If you're getting ready to move, you may want to explore the use of a service such as so that you can research how you can save on moving expenses.

For those who truly are unable to relocate, you could still look for telecommuting opportunities or you could work as a freelancer or independent contractor. This provides the greatest degree of flexibility, but it may also result in the least amount of stability.

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