At Work

New place, new life

Mid-life career changers frequently consider relocation as part of their career planning. They may want to move to be closer to family, they may wonder if they can find jobs in a new location or they are just seeking new avenues for personal growth. Others experience layoffs and industry changes.

Moving can give your career a boost if you plan ahead. In fact, if you are considering a major career change, moving makes a lot of sense.

Often, it is easier to reinvent yourself in a place where nobody knows or remembers you, especially if you are making a major shift. For instance, friends who remember you as a buttoned-up corporate executive may have trouble viewing you as a laidback life coach.

Unfortunately, many people decide to move before they are ready. They get out a map, choose a destination that sounds good on the Internet, and take off. Often they anticipate the biggest expense w ill be the moving van.

Your greatest expense will involve relocating or even moving back if you realise you have made a big mistake.

Here are some tips to keep that from happening:

  • Do as much research as possible before selling or renting your home. Narrow down your selections to lifestyle and type of town, rather than state.
  • Take several short trips while you are still working at your current job. The travel costs may seem high, but you will make a wiser decision when you are not under pressure. In the long run, you will save far more than you spend. Visit at least three places before making a commitment.
  • Investigate job opportunities at your destination city. Your opportunities and options vary depending on your industry and your level. As a rule of thumb, the higher you are in an organisation, the more you need to plan ahead.
  • If you are going to seek a job or start your own business, you will need to study the local culture. When I lived in a small town in New Mexico, many newcomers were surprised at the formal and informal customs regarding business and jobs. Some enjoyed exciting opportunities; others became frustrated and left, realising they paid a high price for learning.
  • Consider starting a portable career, such as an online business. These days, you cannot assume that any career field will bring opportunities; even if jobs are available, local culture will influence working conditions.
  • If you have saved enough for at least two years of living expenses, and you would like to travel for a year or so, then consider the time off as a sabbatical. You can always decide you won’t come back. - Source: Singapore Straits Times/Asia News Network
Article by Cathy Goodwin, PhD. She helps mid-life mid-career professionals who want to transform career breakdowns into career breakthroughs.