Career Decision Time - Should I Relocate?

by Patrick
(Akron, Ohio, USA)

I currently work for The University of Akron in Akron, Ohio. Recently I saw a job posting for my exact position with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, so I submitted a resume. After the normal process, I was offered the job.

At first I was excited about it. It's for more money and would be moving to Las Vegas. After I received the employment contract I was informed of the state mandated furlough where all state employees are required to take 1 day per month off unpaid. Although this is a small salary reduction (approx. 5%), it is still a reduction.

UNLV, and the state of Nevada is having real financial problems. Is it smart to go to work for a company that is already cutting pay and canceling programs? What is next? More pay cuts? Layoffs?

I am also thinking if this is really a job that I want to move 2000 miles away from home for. I have an MBA in Supply Chain Management & would like to get into that field. I feel that the opportunities to do this would be better back in Ohio or the surrounding states. Nevada has no industry other than hospitality, education & medical.

Lastly, is the pay increase worth giving up everything I have established here in Ohio? I have a great family & friends here that I know I would miss dearly.

I know that this is ultimately my decision to make; but any help or advice that you can give m would be greatly appreciated.

Simon's Reply

Thanks for your question Patrick.

Whenever somebody is considering a new job, and they themselves are raising a lot of issues about why they should not take that job, that's normally a red flag for me.

And my rule of thumb about choosing a new job is that if the thought of the new position does not cause your heart to skip a couple of beats when you think of yourself in that role, then the job is probably not the right one.

Of course this is a general rule and there are exceptions to it.

The money seems to be the main attraction for accepting the job, and this is pretty normal.

Here is a question to consider: If the remuneration for this new job was the same or almost the same as your current job, would you ever even consider it?

I'm guessing the answer to that question is fairly obvious, but it can help put the money issue in perspective.

What we know from research is that although money is an important part of the career decision-making process, it generally doesn't rate in the top three of the most important aspects of a job for long-term worker satisfaction.

There are a number of factors in your question that point to the fact that you should probably be staying put.

Probably the biggest issue is related to your family and friends and your life balance.

When you get to the end of your life, and you look back over the things that were most important to you, it is unlikely you will rate a career transition such as this ahead of the good memories of family and friends.

A very simple but helpful exercise when making a career decision such as this is to simply write out a list of all the reasons why you should accept the new job on the left-hand side of a page and all the reasons why you shouldn't accept it the right-hand side of the page.

When completing the list, be sure to expand your answers out fully for both sides of the argument.

The main benefit of this exercise is to simply remove all the thoughts that are going around your mind and to place them on a piece of paper.

This frees up our mind to look at the situation from an external point of view now that our mind is somewhat empty of the issue. This clearer mind then helps the brain in the final decision-making process.

Best of luck with the decision.

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