After your partner receives a great job opportunity in another city, step one should be celebrating their success. If they decide to take the job, though, you then need to both sit down and decide whether you’re going to move as a couple or not. This can be tough when trying to maintain a long-distance relationship.
It’s a common work-life balance challenge to want to live in the city with the best career opportunities, even if it means leaving your current home. Having a close relationship with your significant other is important to many people. If you’re considering relocating for work, here are four things to keep in mind, courtesy of career and work-life balance experts Andrea Meier and Charlotte Weeks:
1. “What Are My Partner’s Expectations?”
Before you and your partner uproot your lives and move to a new city, it’s key that you feel like his or her career isn’t the only priority. You’re both affirming that each other’s careers are essential when you make this decision together, so it’s crucial that professional development is something he values just as much as you do. It’s uncommon for two people to be able to focus the same level of energy on their careers simultaneously, says Charlotte Weeks. If you or your partner ever had to relocate for a job, it’s important that both of you are clear about what is expected from the other person so there isn’t any resentment down the line.
[Related: 7 Easy Ways to Support Your Partner’s Career]
Showing support to your significant other isn’t always easy, especially if you have to travel for work frequently or stay late at the office. However, apps like SimplyUs and Couple allow you to share calendars and to-do lists with your partner, which might make it easier for him or her to keep tabs on how they can help you out.
2. “Would I be able to do my job in a different location?”
If you’re content with your current job, consider ways to stay employed by the company if you move. Does the company have a branch in the city to which you might relocate? If so, it’s possible that they’d let you switch offices. If you’re more comfortable working from home, it might be a good idea to talk to your boss about the possibility of telecommuting and only traveling back into the office for very important events or projects. However, if you haven’t been with the company for a long enough duration to have that bargaining power, or if those options aren’t available in your field of work, you might need to accept that moving means starting a new job search in an unfamiliar city. There is no shame in looking for freelance work on sites like Upwork or Guru when you are unemployed. In fact, it might even motivate you to keep your skills sharp while you look for your next full-time gig.
3. “Will I Be OK With Building a Whole New Network?”
If you lose touch with your mentor, sure, you could reach out through social media or give them a call every once in a while. But it’s not the same as being able to go out for coffee monthly as you do now. Carefully consider whether you will be able to handle being away from family and friends before making any decisions. Never underestimate the power of networking! If you know anyone in your professional industry who lives in the city you’re moving to, reach out and ask for advice or assistance. They might be able to help connect you with new opportunities or resources. “The people in your current network know, like, and trust you,” Meier says. “That’s an informal vetting to a new job somewhere else.”
And don’t forget about Local Levo! With offline communities in 30+ cities around the world, they’re a great place to meet new people and connect with like-minded members. (You might even be able to find your new favorite coffee shop or brunch spot!)
4. “Can I Afford To Be Without a Job?”
According to Weeks, if you plan on moving before having a job in the new city, make sure you have saved enough money to last a while or that your partner can support both of you during this time. Your decision to rent or buy housing could greatly differ depending on how long you plan on staying in the location. The Cost of Living Calculator from Bankrate lets you compare prices between your current city and the one you’re thinking of moving to so that you can make an informed decision. You can compare anything from orange juice to rent prices. The more information you have, the better equipped you’ll be to negotiate your salary with a future employer.