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Black woman unemployed

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In anticipation of the outcome of the US Presidential Election, many frustrated Americans fabricated plans to run for the Canadian border and #DumpTrump. Although very few have followed through, many failed to consider the all-encompassing process of relocation, including securing employment and housing. Accepting a job offer is an exciting chance to climb the corporate ladder or flex your entrepreneurial muscle, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg. Now that the interviewing and salary/contract negotiations are said and done, here’s what you need to ask yourself, before planning a going away party.

Who’s footing the bill?

One important piece of relocating for a job is the task of moving. Negotiating salary comes with the territory for several job seekers, but the discussion about who’s responsible for moving and house expenses is non-existent. Moving is more than packing boxes and loading trucks for a road trip. You need to consider what’s included in your new employer’s relocation package—if there is a package at all. Who will pay your temporary living expenses until you’re able to secure permanent housing? Who is responsible for the costs associated with selling your current home? Be sure to nail down the details of the relocation policy, including how long you must remain employed with the employer before you’re required to repay the company should it not work out. Find out if they cut a check upfront or have a protocol for reimbursement of expenses only. Before you have a chance to put the stamp on your housewarming thank you notes, you could soon realize you can’t afford to accept your ticket to freedom.

Can I pay my bills?

Oops! Did you forget to research living expenses in your new city before accepting the offer you thought was a nice chunk of change? From a free online cost of living comparison, you would have known it’s almost 90% more expensive to live in New York, NY versus Dallas, TX. Now your $80,000 salary would need to be somewhere in the ballpark of $150,000 for you to survive. Instead, you jumped the gun and thought you hit the jackpot with that $10,000 increase you so willingly accepted. Speaking of rags to riches, let’s reflect on how the size of your home will be drastically downgraded too. In the South, we’re accustomed to 2,000 sq ft homes with fenced in yards for $250,000. Try purchasing a home in NY for close to 300% more, and you’ll quickly discover your end of the deal was rather shoddy.

What am I sacrificing?

Money isn’t the only offer aspect you need to contemplate. Subjects such as educational systems, transportation, social settings, and access to family support are also often neglected. If nothing else, spend time analyzing what you’re leaving behind and whether it’s worth it in the end. Request an information session with some of your future colleagues in hopes they can shed some light on the best schools for your kids or entertainment venues for date night. Dedicate a few days to exploring the city to determine if it’s somewhere you’d like to live and grow. Asking lots of questions and keeping an open mind will be crucial in this journey. Don’t make the mistake of blindly committing to a city, only to find out it’s the murder capital or the male to female ratio is 20 to 10,000.

The more information you have about your new destination will help you make informed decisions for you and family. Although a change of scenery may be the answer to igniting the passion you lack in your current job situation, always think about the long-term effects of your move.

Ashley Watkins, Career Coach and Nationally Certified Résumé Writer with Write Step Resumes, LLC, provides high-quality résumé writing, interview preparation, and career coaching services to help job seekers get more interviews and salary offers. She can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or via www.WriteStepResumes.com.

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