Relocating for a new job: what to consider

Sometimes the ideal job just isn’t nearby, so furthering your career means packing your bags. This is obviously a big decision for anyone to make. Nevertheless, it is also a decision that is regularly made by many people across Europe and if you do decide to relocate, you won’t be entirely alone. We’ve helped many people move for a new job over the years, so we thought we would share some of our hard-won wisdom on the topic, in the hope it might help you with your decision.

So, here is our relocation check-list of things to consider before you make your decision. We’ve tried to avoid the obvious stuff about whether it’s a good job for you, whether your family are OK with moving, what you will miss about home etc. and focus on the things you might not have considered.

  1. Does the job offer relocation support? Many employers in international hubs such as London, Malta, the Isle of Man, Gibraltar, etc. will be quite used to paying generous relocation packages in order to help find talent, particularly if you work in fields like IT/development/technology where there are skill shortages. Don’t be afraid to request this when negotiating for your new position, and remember it isn’t all about cash – some jurisdictions like the Isle of Man offer tax breaks on relocation expenses up to a certain level, so local knowledge will be important to make the best of your move. If the company don’t offer much, can your employment agency help?
  2. How does the remuneration package compare after you have accounted for tax and cost of living? Simply comparing your current salary to the new one isn’t enough when it comes to working out if you will be better off. For example, high property and living costs in London may more than offset a higher wage, or the low taxes in the Isle of Man or Gibraltar might leave you better off on the same or even a lower salary. We also have a handy guide to the tax and salary benefits of several offshore jurisdictions.
  3. Does the company itself have a good social scene? Moving to a new jurisdiction means making new friends and this will be much easier if you are encouraged to get on well with co-workers. Good indicators will be whether the company has a specific social budget or even a team/committee that organises events.
  4. Is the new jurisdiction suited to you for the long term and does it need to be? Particularly if you are young and/or single, a relocation doesn’t have to be for life and taking a role overseas can look excellent on your CV if you decide to move back ‘home’ in a few years.
  5. Climate is important. Do you want the hot summers of Malta, the sea breeze of the Isle of Man, or the gentle ‘goldilocks’ climate of the Channel Islands? Remember you don’t necessarily want the same things from a new home as you do from a holiday destination!
  6. What will travelling to work cost you in both time and money? Style, length, and cost of commutes vary massively between different cities. The offshore jurisdictions tend to offer short commutes, for example, which can have a big impact on how much leisure time you have available every week.
  7. What are local services and infrastructure like? Does the place have a good healthcare system? Is it insurance based or free? If you have kids or you intend to stay there some time, what is the local educational system like? Have you considered both state and private options for key services in your potential new home?
  8. Have you budgeted for minor local expenses like transferring your driving licence, enrolling kids in schools, and other small annoyances? These things can rack up when you are already likely to be paying fairly major expenses for removal, rent deposits etc.
  9. Are there any particular things you need to do to comply with local employment regulation? This is definitely something your employer and/or employment agency should do for you, but nevertheless you should check this out on your own.
  10. As a worst case scenario, how active is the local job market for your skills? If you end up really not liking your new company, or things don’t go well for them in the market, you ideally want a back-up plan that doesn’t mean immediately incurring the expenses of moving all over again. Again, the tech market is a good example – if you move to one of the small jurisdictions discussed in this article, development skills should make it relatively easy for you to find new positions.

So those are some of the key things to consider. It’s important, however, to remember that these are things to consider, not excuses! Moving is often the right answer for both your career and your personal life and we’ve seen loads of people do it successfully, so don’t be put off by long lists of considerations. Anything worth doing is worth thinking hard about, that’s all!

Did we miss something that’s really important to you? Since we specialise in relocations within Europe, you can always drop us a line to see if we can help. We might even add the answer to this article to help the next person who finds it!