5 things to consider before relocating to the city

Live in the regions but the city is calling your name?

Whether you’re looking to move back to a city environment, or it’s your first time living in the big smoke, there’s no doubt you’ll find plenty of career opportunities in larger urban centres.

With most major companies and corporations basing their head offices in our main cities, is there a time when relocating for work is going to benefit you and your goals in the long run? We look at what you should consider before you move.

Why move?

Perhaps you want to take a new career direction that isn’t possible where you currently live, or you need to establish yourself within a certain level of the company for a few years in order to be posted back to a regional office - or, reach a point in your life where you can take on less responsibility. 

There are many benefits to taking your career from the regions to the city. These include:

  • Increased and more diverse professional opportunities. The move itself could be the result of a significant promotion.

  • The chance to work in more senior positions than regional branches offer and diversify your skills.

  • Better pay and benefits - but ensure you balance this with the cost of living in your potential new city home.

  • The opportunity to gain new skills, experiences and expand your networks, which the regions would not offer you but will ultimately benefit you in your future career goals in any location.

  • You may already be spending a lot of time in the city for work. Bringing your family, or just yourself, closer could be just the lifestyle change you need.

What’s the big picture?

Moving from the regions to the city can bring many unexpected lifestyle benefits for you and your family. On the other hand, if these don’t appeal (think Auckland traffic), the move doesn’t need to be permanent and can simply act as a springboard to your future goals back in the regions.

Whatever the case, take time to consider the direction of your career path and what goals you want to achieve with this move. 

  • How long do you want to work at this level for, within the company? What level do you ultimately see yourself and how do you get there?

  • Investigate the potential for growth, both in terms of your career and of the company. If you hit a ceiling, are there other opportunities in the same or other industries for you within the city?

  • What skills do you need to gain in order to set yourself up for the next step, be that in the city or back in the regions?

Research your future (or current) employer, or the job market

Picking up sticks and moving yourself to the city is not necessarily a small deal, particularly if you’re taking a family with you, so make sure it’s the right one for all of you. Whether you’re taking up a job with a company new to you or transferring with your current employer, you should thoroughly investigate what you’re going to be arriving to each day.

  • Spend time in your new workplace before you commit to the move.

  • Get a good grasp on the workplace culture, which could be vastly different to where you’re coming from (which, of course, could be quite appealing). 

  • Get to know your future colleagues. If you’re new to a city, workmates may be more important than they otherwise would for getting your new life established.

  • Are you moving without a job offer? Ensure you have a thorough grasp on the local job market and start networking before you arrive. 

Research your new home

Quite aside from the job itself are all the considerations about how you’ll make this work in daily life. Ensure you research:

  • Commuting options. Will you live and work in the city centre to cut down on travel time, or base yourself in the suburbs and find a reliable train line, bus route or less congested road in to work?

  • If you’re taking the whole family, research property prices and options, school zones, lifestyle requirements such as parks or beaches, and employment options for your partner. Does all this gel well with the reasons why you’re taking the job?

  • The cost of living. If this move means a significant move in your standard of living, even if it’s just until your career starts moving up, then make sure your family is 100% on board. 

Take a risk

Moving, whether it be for work or otherwise, can be very stressful but also very worthwhile. Ultimately life is too short to be stuck in a job you feel bored in, so making this move could be the best thing you ever did. And if it doesn’t work out, then the regions will always be there waiting for you, but you’ll be richer for the experiences you’ve gained.