Tips for working with your recruiter #4: Be frank about your ability and desire to relocate

Previous posts in series:

Currently in this series, I am talking about a recruiter’s “wish list” for frank and accurate information, since inaccurate information about salary history and needs, relocation, and spouse’s/partner’s career sink quite a few potential placements. Today, let’s take a closer look at the issue of relocation.

This issue definitely divides job seekers into three camps. First, there are those who want to relocate for various reasons. Perhaps they don’t like their current city and want to move; perhaps they have a dream destination in mind. Second, there are those who don’t want to relocate. Perhaps they love where they are, or perhaps family members can’t or don’t want to move. Finally, there is the camp that is ambivalent about relocation. Perhaps they are willing to move if the right offer comes along. Or perhaps they want to relocate but feel an obligation to take care of a sick relative. There are many possibilities.

When you are discussing a potential job outside your geographical area with a recruiter, it is important to be self-aware about your own ability and desire to relocate. It may be the case that you haven’t thought about the issues involved in a while and haven’t asked yourself the question: “Can I relocate, and do I want to?”

The following are issues to consider when asking yourself this question:

  • How will my family members feel about relocation?
  • Am I attached to my current home?
  • Am I attached to my current city?
  • How will relocation affect current friendships–mine and those of my family members?
  • Do I have obligations to people in my current location that I cannot fulfill, by myself or with hired help, in the new location?
  • How will the cost of living differ in the potential new location, and how does that affect for better or worse the value of any salary and benefits changes?
  • Am I enthusiastic about the potential new location?
  • Are my family members enthusiastic about the potential new location?
  • If there are negative factors to relocating, can they possibly be outweighed by positive factors?

When candidates are totally in favor of relocation, there tends to be no problem. Sometimes even candidates who are totally against relocation seems to say to themselves, “Well, let’s just see what the offer looks like…” Yet it is the ambivalent candidates who take this stance the most, sometimes rejecting good offers because, at the end of the day, they just didn’t want to relocate.

When the offer and opportunity just aren’t enough motivation to move, such a conclusion is understandable. The important thing is to discuss thoroughly with your family and your recruiter your ability and desire to relocate from the beginning. Doing so not only helps save the time that could be wasted in searches and interviews; it also helps the recruiter focus on opportunities in your geographic area and introduce positions that are right for you.

The Key Corporate Services Blog Team