Due to the lack of availability of jobs, many candidates are contemplating relocating to better or larger job markets. Although a new location may increase your chances of landing a job, there are several factors to consider before moving which may be a huge influence on the decision-making process.

1) Compare the cost of living. The “cost of living” between different cities can vary significantly. For instance, living in San Francisco, California will cost you 83.74% more (on average) than living in Nashville, Tennessee according to BankRate. This means that a $92K per year salary in San Francisco is equivalent to $50K per year in Nashville. The cost of living is a very important factor to consider when contemplating a relocation.

2) Compare average salaries in the area. In addition to cost of living variances, salaries also vary from area to area. Check out the average salary for your current/desired job on sites such as Salary.com to determine if moving is a lucrative decision. In addition, some job markets may be saturated with candidates in your industry, and some might be in desperate need of candidates. This can affect the average salary of your job in the area.

3) Determine the impact on your resume. In addition to the real-world financial struggles that relocating may cause, your resume could also be negatively impacted. Relocating frequently may cause you to look more like a “job hopper” than someone who stays at their job for a longer duration of time. Obviously you need to pay your bills, so relocating might be a necessity, but if you have the option to lengthen your tenure at your current job, you may want to consider staying put for a while to keep your resume strong.

Although there are several factors to consider, I believe the three mentioned above are the most important influences on your career. When planned properly, a relocation can land you a great job with higher pay and a lower cost of living. When planned poorly, you may get a new job in an area which pays less and costs significantly more for daily living essentials.

By Drew Roark